Applications Closed

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Grant Details

The Minnesota Down Payment Assistance Grant offers up to $15,000 for qualified farmers purchasing their first farm. The grant program is administered by the MDA's Rural Finance Authority (RFA) as part of its mission to develop the state’s agricultural resources. The MDA will award these grants using a random lottery process, with priority given to eligible applicants as described below. Complete request for grant proposals (RFP) with timeline and full grant rules coming soon.


Am I Eligible?

Eligible Applicants

  • Individual (LLCs, partnerships, etc. must apply and buy farm as individual)
  • Minnesota resident
  • Earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales
  • Applicants and their spouses have never owned a farm
  • Cannot buy farm from family member (new)
  • Will provide the majority of labor and management on the farm
  • Will farm the land for at least 5 years
  • In good standing with the State of Minnesota
  • Have not been convicted of a crime related to a state grant agreement

Priority Applicants (new)

  • Earn less than $100,000 annually in gross agricultural sales, or
  • Produce one or more of the following crops: industrial hemp, cannabis, specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, and other horticultural crops) as defined by the USDA

Eligible Purchases

  • Farmland or other agricultural real estate (tillable acres, hog barn, commercial greenhouse, etc.)
  • Within the borders of Minnesota
  • Must close on purchase after application approval and within designated timeframe. This grant cannot be applied retroactively toward purchases that have already closed.

 

What Else?

The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $500,000 for the first round of Down Payment Assistance Grant funding, which took place from January to June 2023. The state has also funded $1,000,000 for both a second and third round of funding, which will begin July 2023 and summer or fall 2024, respectively.

Looking to purchase farmland? Check out the MDA's other land access programs:

 

Round 3 Information Sessions

Leading up to the opening of the application window, the MDA and Farmland Access Hub are partnering to host a series of informational webinars for prospective applicants. Each webinar will focus on a different topic related to the grant program and the farm-buying process. Details on each session and how to join are below. Recordings to each session will be posted here when they are available.