Urdahl: State grants to aid first-time farm purchases now available
ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, announces applications are now being accepted for a new grant program to support Minnesotans purchasing their first farm.
The Down Payment Assistance Grant Program is managed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and it offers dollar-for-dollar matching up to $15,000 for qualified small farmers to purchase farmland.
“The cost of starting up a farm can be prohibitive, and this is one more tool people considering getting into the industry have available to them,” Urdahl said. “Agriculture plays a significant role in our economy and the health of Greater Minnesota in general. I hope people who are interested in starting up a farm give this program a look.”
The MDA’s Rural Finance Authority is awarding this funding using a first-come, first-served application process and 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.
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.
The application and more details can be found by visiting www.mda.state.mn.us and entering "first-time farm purchase grant" in the search field.