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MFU Foundation Accepting Applications for Cooperatives for Climate Grant Program

ST. PAUL – The application period is now open for the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Foundation Cooperatives for Climate grant program.

The pilot grant program aims to support cooperatives that are organizing in response to climate-related challenges and opportunities.

“Cooperative development is a foundational principle of Minnesota Farmers Union, and we are proud to be assisting a new generation of cooperative leaders,” said MFU President Gary Wertish, who is also president of the MFU Foundation. “Early Farmers Union members organized themselves into cooperatives to give themselves more opportunities in the marketplace. Today’s cooperative founders are following in their footsteps by organizing cooperatives to meet the need for sustainability solutions.”

The grant application period runs from Feb. 1 through March 15. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of MFU members and grants will be awarded by the end of April. A total of $90,000 is available.

Grants can be used for technical assistance and business development for established or newly formed farmer cooperatives. Projects should have a clear connection to climate adaptation and resilience.

In 2023, four cooperatives were funded through the Co-ops for Climate grant program. “With the funds from the Co-ops for Climate grant, our cooperative has been given the opportunity to take the next steps in establishing our governing documents and essential business plan,” said David Abazs, farmer and instigator of the Forest and Farm Growers Cooperative, which received funding last year.

Find the grant application and additional details online at the Minnesota Farmers Union Foundation.

“We’re excited to support farmer cooperatives in engaging in climate solutions,” said MFU Climate and Working Lands Director Ariel Kagan. “With these grants we hope to be able to share the value of the cooperative model as we think about a more resilient future.”

Support for the Cooperatives for Climate grant program comes from the Morgan Family Foundation and the McKnight Foundation.

About Minnesota Farmers Union

Minnesota Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MFU is a nonprofit membership-based organization. Membership is open to everyone. Learn more and join at www.mfu.org and follow MFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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