The Minnesota Beginning Farmer Tax Credit provides tax credits for the rent or sale of farm land or a variety of farm assets to beginning farmers. This includes incentives for the sale of farm land.

A Beginning Farmer is defined as:

  • A Minnesota resident (Residency Fact Sheet, PDF) who is seeking entry, or has entered into farming within the last 10 years.
  • A farmer who will provide the majority of the labor and management of the farm that is located in Minnesota.
  • Has adequate experience and knowledge of the type of farming for which they seek assistance from the Rural Finance Authority.
  • Can provide positive projected earnings statements.
  • Is not directly related to the owner of the agricultural asset. This includes parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, spouses, children, and grandchildren. Legal adoption shall be considered in full effect.
  • Has a net worth that does not exceed the limit provided under section 41B.03, subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (2). This limit is $851,000 in 2020.

The beginning farmer may need to participate in an approved financial management program. Costs of financial management programs up to a maximum of $1,500 per year (for up to 3 years) may also be eligible for a tax credit. The financial management credit need not be tied to any agricultural asset sale or rental.

Definition of “Agricultural Asset”:

  • Agricultural land, livestock, facilities, buildings and machinery used for farming in Minnesota

The credit to the agricultural asset owner is as follows:

  • 5% of the lesser of the sale price or fair market value of the agricultural asset up to a maximum of $32,000;
  • 10% of the gross rental income in each of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years of the rental agreement, up to a maximum of $7,000 per year, or
  • 15% of the cash equivalent of the gross rental income in each of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years of a share rent agreement, up to a maximum of $10,000 per year.

The agricultural asset owner can claim credits in one of the above categories in a given tax year on a per-owner basis up to the maximums stated.

Role of the Rural Finance Authority (RFA)

The RFA will administer the tax credits by:

  • Certifying beginning farmers
  • Assisting beginning farmers with locating eligible financial management program options in their area
  • Certifying that owners of agricultural assets are eligible for the tax credit. This is a first come, first served initiative. The amount available in 2020 is about $12 million. 

The asset owner may be an individual, trust, a qualified pass-through entity. The owner of agricultural assets cannot be an equipment dealer, livestock dealer, or comparable entity engaged in the business of selling agricultural assets for profit.