Applications open 9 a.m. on January 4, 2023

Grant Details

The Minnesota Down Payment Assistance Grant offers dollar-per-dollar matching up to $15,000 for qualified farmers purchasing their first farm. The grant program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Rural Finance Authority (RFA) as part of its mission to develop the state’s agricultural resources.

Funding will be available using a first-come, first-served application process. Please read the Request for Applications document in the Forms + Resources box at the top of this page for grant details and complete application instructions.

Am I Eligible?

  • Individual (LLCs, partnerships, non-profits, and other businesses not eligible)
  • Minnesota resident
  • Earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales
  • Applicants and their spouses must have not previously had any direct or indirect ownership in farmland or other agricultural property.
  • 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

Eligible Purchases

  • Farmland or other agricultural property
  • Within the borders of Minnesota
  • Must close within 90 days after application approval. This grant cannot be applied retroactively toward purchases that have already closed.

Apply 2 Ways

  1. Complete the online application in the Forms + Resources box at the top of this page. No pre-registration or account is required. This online application will open at 9:00 a.m. on January 4, 2023.
  2. Email a pdf application to RFA.loans@state.mn.us. Pdf applications will be available in the Forms + Resources box at the top of this page and must be emailed after 9:00 a.m. on January 4, 2023. Emailed applications received before this time will not be eligible.

What Else?

The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $500,000 in fiscal year 2023 for these grants. RFA expects to award 30-40 grants in this cycle, depending on the size of requests. Applications will be accepted until a waitlist of 100 applicants forms, or May 15, 2023, whichever comes first.

Approved applications will remain valid for purchases closing within 90 days of approval or until May 15, 2023, whichever comes first. A second and third grant cycle of $750,000 each is secured and will begin July 1, 2023 and July 1, 2024.

Down Payment Assistance Grant Informational Webinars

Learn more about the grant program and bring your questions to our informational webinars. Interpretation will be available in Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. RFA is happy to provide additional interpretation if requested one week before each webinar. Please send requests and other questions to Jenny.Heck@state.mn.us or 651-201-6316.

Recording and slides from these meetings will be posted here when available.

Tuesday, December 6, 2-3 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81317919423
Meeting ID: 813 1791 9423
Call in: 312-626-6799

Thursday, December 15, 6-7 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87285332002
Meeting ID: 872 8533 2002
Call in: 312-626-6799