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Cass County farmers get grants

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson has announced the recipients of the state's second round of Livestock Investment Grants. Fifty producers were selected to share $1 million in grants aimed at boosting the state's livestock sector.

In Cass County, grant recipients were Billy Haehnel, a young beef farmer who improved pasture, facilities and equipment; and Daniel Martin, a beginning dairy farmer making facility and equipment improvements.

For this round of grants, 245 farmers applied for grants that would help offset their investments valued at $39 million. More than 800 livestock producers have applied for the grants since the program was launched in 2008.

The grantees include beginning farmers, as well as organic and traditional farmers. They are located across Minnesota and represent a variety of livestock species. Approved projects include renovation of milking facilities, barn upgrades, technology modernization, improved waste management systems and business transitions.