Gov. Doug Burgum today signed legislation that more than doubles funding for the state’s Agriculture Diversification and Development (ADD) Fund to provide grants for new or expanding value-added agriculture businesses as well as public infrastructure improvements to support such businesses.
House Bill 1276 provides $25 million to the ADD Fund for the 2023-2025 biennium, with up to $10 million of that amount available for agriculture infrastructure grants to political subdivisions.
“Agriculture is the bedrock of our economy in North Dakota, and supporting new or expanding businesses that want to diversify agriculture will strengthen the industry as well as the communities that depend on farming, ranching and ag processing for jobs and tax revenue,” Burgum said. “We appreciate Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, the commodity groups, the Bank of North Dakota and all the legislators who worked to expand this impactful program.”
The ADD Fund was created by 67th Legislative Assembly in 2021 with a $10 million appropriation to the Bank of North Dakota, which administers the fund. No more than 25% of the ADD Fund may be utilized for grants in a biennium.
Last year, the ADD Fund awarded more than $2.1 million in grants to 10 projects in nine North Dakota communities, resulting in over $100 million in ag-based project developments, Goehring testified in committee. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture houses the ADD grant committee that reviews applications and recommends grants from the fund.
“The increased funding for the ADD Fund will further expand and enhance the agriculture industry in North Dakota,” Goehring said. “The money allocated for ag infrastructure will help ensure our rural roads, water, sewer and other projects are in place to support new value-added projects.”
Value-added agriculture businesses eligible for the grant funding include food production and processing facilities, feed or pet food processing facilities, commodity processing facilities, agriculture product manufacturers and animal production facilities. The grants may be used to establish or expand a value-added agriculture business, or to purchase or lease equipment.
House Bill 1276 was approved unanimously in the House and 44-2 in the Senate. It was introduced by Rep. Bernie Satrom of Jamestown and co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Brandenburg, Jim Grueneich, Jared Hagert, Craig Headland, Keith Kempenich, Dwight Kiefert, Mitch Ostlie and Paul Thomas and Sens. Cole Conley, Larry Luick and Terry Wanzek.