At a Glance
The MDA's Rural Finance Authority (RFA) is the state's main agricultural lending arm with a mission to develop the state's agricultural resources. RFA offers low-interest loan programs for a variety of farm activities, including:
- Land purchases
- Farm improvements
- Meat and poultry processing
- Operating capital
- Debt restructure
- Disaster relief
RFA partners with local lenders to purchase a portion of a farmer's loan at a lower interest rate. We utilize the local lender's supporting documentation, so farmers have limited application paperwork with us and only make payments to their bank. As of May 2023, RFA has invested in more than 3,800 participation loans, totaling over $360 million to Minnesota farmers since 1986.
Eligibility and loan terms vary by program. Learn more about each program by reviewing our list of RFA loans.
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How to Apply
To apply for an RFA loan contact one of our loan officers at 651-201-6004 or RFA.firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also start your loan application by reaching out to your local lender. Search for lenders who work with RFA by county with our List of Participating Lenders.
Popular RFA Loans
- Beginning Farmer and Seller-Assisted Loans - help beginning farmers purchase farmland
- Disaster Recovery Loan - 0% interest for support after declared disasters or hardship events
- Agricultural Improvement Loan - finances farm improvements for any ag related purpose, such as grain handling facilities, machine storage and manure systems
- Restructure II Loan - helps farmers reorganize their farm debt to improve cash flow
- Livestock Expansion Loan - creates affordable financing for new state-of-the-art livestock production facilities.
- Aggie Bond Program creates a federal tax exemption for banks, and a federal and state tax exemption on interest income to an individual seller in exchange for offering below market interest rates to eligible beginning farmers to purchase farm real estate, agricultural improvements, breeding livestock and machinery. ns.
Additionally, RFA has established revolving accounts to support other loan activities. The RFA has provided over $4.5 million in loans to 200 lower equity farmers to purchase stock in cooperatives that own and operate value-added agricultural processing facilities. The Livestock Equipment Loan Program is designed to help finance the first purchase of livestock-related equipment and make livestock facilities improvements. The Sustainable Agriculture and Manure Digester loan programs are administered jointly by the MDA Finance & Budget and Ag Marketing & Development Divisions.
Learn more about each program by reviewing our list of all RFA loans.
Additional RFA Programs
In addition to loans, RFA offers programs that support farmland access and farm business support, including:
- Beginning Farmer Tax Credit - for landlords/sellers who work with new farmers
- Down Payment Assistance Grant - $15,000 to purchase first farm
- Emerging Farmer Technical Assistance Grant - for organizations who provide farm business support
- Farm Advocates - free farm business and crisis support for farmers
- Farm Business Management Programs - one-on-one farm business and financial coaching