Minnesota Grant Program to Help New Farmers Purchase Land

A new grant program in Minnesota, managed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), will offer dollar-for-dollar matching up to $15,000 for qualified small farmers to purchase farmland. MDA’s Rural Finance Authority (RFA) will award this funding using a first-come, first-served application process that will open at 9 a.m. on January 4, 2023. The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $500,000 in fiscal year 2023 for these grants. The RFA expects to award between 30 and 40 grants in this cycle, depending on the size of requests. A second cycle of $750,000 in funding has been secured and will be made available on July 1, 2023. Farmers must be Minnesota residents who will earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales and plan on providing the majority of the day-to-day physical labor on the farm for at least five years. Applicants must not have previous direct or indirect farmland ownership.