Livestock Grant for MN farm updates

Livestock grant opportunities that came across my desk today for farmers in Minnesota…

“Minnesota livestock farmers and ranchers seeking to improve their livestock operations are encouraged to apply for the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Livestock Investment Grant program. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) anticipates awarding up to $768,000 using a competitive review process.

Applicants may apply for up to 10 percent of their project’s total cost. Grant awards can range in size from $400 to $25,000. Each livestock operation is eligible to receive a lifetime maximum of $50,000 from this livestock grant program. To be eligible for reimbursement by this grant, you must be invoiced and pay for all project materials and services between Jan. 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. We encourage you to use our online application. If you cannot apply online, you can fill out the application at the end of the Request for Proposals, which can be found on the AGRI Livestock Investment website.”

Are you ready to start your MN dairy farm improvement? Contact Ronnie at Williams Engineering and get it started!

New Funding Options

We all have those projects that get put off for another day but maybe this is one of those programs that could help your dairy farm bring in the extra cash to get it started?

Could this be the “cost share funding” you’ve been waiting for that could help start the planning and design process for your new barn, manure storage, or separation facility? 

We’d love to help you realize your vision for your farm utilizing this or any other funding option – just give us a call! 

Asbestos, The 411

In the Know

Asbestos became popular between 1900-1970. The large draw of asbestos was in sound absorption, strength, and its resistance to fire and heat. Asbestos manufacturing has been phased out, banned, or overly restricted since the 1990s.

Common Locations

Homes dating back before 1980 were built with products which may contain asbestos. These products include floor tile, ceiling tiles, roof shingles and flashing, exterior siding, and insulation (around boilers, pipes, and duct work).

In farm buildings it is in joint compound and caulking. With any remodel it may be best to test for asbestos.

Health Effects

The length of exposure to asbestos is the most concerning factor. When inhaled, asbestos’s glass like fibers scratch the interior of your lungs causing scarring and stiffening. One or two exposures yield no worry, but it is exposure from 10-40 years that leads to lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Testing and Abatement

Most general contractors will not get involved for liability reasons if asbestos is a potential threat. When you need testing and removal of asbestos, it may require more than 1 contractor. It is a must to see all records and documentations of the asbestos levels in your house.

Check to be sure any professional you hire meets any licensing requirements for your state or municipality.

Asbestos abatement (removal) has an extensive set up procedure. The first step in the removal is fully sealing off the room with multiple layers of plastic. Then workers have to walk through a wash off station upon entering and exiting the sealed area. Respirators are required. All materials are wetted down to control dust and particle movement.

Cost of abatement can vary depending on the scope of the work.

Questions? Contact Ronnie at Williams Engineering to ask your asbestos questions!

~ Jordan Crusing, Junior Technician

Dangerous Weather for Farmers

Driving to work today, it almost looked like fog — until I saw smoke go up…and then sideways. This is a weather inversion, and it can be deadly for farmers.

If farmers see this kind of thing happening, it’s a really bad day to agitate their manure ponds.  I know that I could smell the farm and wood smoke a little stronger in Augusta as I was walking into the office this morning (which makes sense cause all that stuff is trapped close to the surface).

So I guess you can actually see air quality in this case… I’ve often seen the Twin Cities issue Air Quality alerts on days like today.

Your science lesson for today:

While it’s fascinating to see a weather inversion, I hope that our farmers stay safe today.

Kelly Jacobs, Senior Environmental Scientist