Downpayment Assistance for New Farms

Are you looking to purchase your first farm? If so, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has just announced a new Down Payment Assistance Grant. This grant will offer matching funds up to $15,000 for qualified farmers on the purchase of a farm. Funding is available on a first-come, first served application process. Applications open at 9:00 am on January 4, 2023.

The qualifications to be eligible for this grant include: you must be an individual (LLC’s, partnerships, non-profits and businesses are not eligible), you must be a Minnesota resident, you must earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales, you must not own any other farmland, you will provide the majority of labor and management on the farm, and you must farm the land for at least 5 years.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Rural Finance Authority (RFA) expects to award 30-40 grants in this cycle. The legislature appropriated $500,000 in fiscal year 2023 for these grants. Applications will be accepted until they have 100 applicants or May 15, 2023, whichever comes first. Approved applications will remain valid for purchases closing within 90 days of approval. A second cycle of $750,000 in funding is secured and will begin on July 1, 2023.

If you want to learn more, there will be an informational webinar on Thursday, December 15 from 6-7 pm. The Zoom link and more information can be found at

If you have any questions about the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship or the MN Ag Water Quality program, you can contact me by phone or email: Angie Walter at 320-815-9293 or