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Apply now for farm business management scholarships from MDA

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota growers of several specialty crops may qualify for scholarships to offset the cost of farm business management classes through a program administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Applications are now being accepted for 2010.

In 2010, eligible crops are apples, berries, grapes, pumpkins, sweet corn, and vegetables (fresh market only; canning crops do not qualify).

"The Farm Business Management Program is designed to help these growers make better business decisions about their own operations," says MDA agricultural specialist Meg Moynihan. "It will help them better determine their costs of production, their profitability and their budgets."

The scholarships defray the cost to enroll in farm business management education programs, offered by schools in the Minnesota State College and University (MnSCU) system. Growers work one-on-one with management instructors in a program specifically tailored to their operation--learning to keep and use quality records to make sound business management decisions. Program participants receive comprehensive year-end analyses that can be used for enterprise planning, tax preparation, and discussions with lenders. Strict confidentiality measures protect the privacy of the participants and their financial information.

To learn more about the scholarship program and how to contact an instructor in your area, see the brochure at or call Meg Moynihan at 651-201-6616. The number of scholarships is limited, so it's best to apply early.

Scholarship funds are provided by United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant program.