Cover photo for Minnesota Down Payment Assistance Grant Program

Minnesota Down Payment Assistance Grant Program

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Opens August 1, 2024

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


Eligible Applicants

  • Individual (LLCs, partnerships, etc. must apply as individual)

  • Minnesota resident

  • Earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales

  • Applicants and their spouses have never owned a farm

  • 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 real estate (tillable acres, hog barn, commercial greenhouse, etc.)

  • Within the borders of Minnesota

  • Must close on purchase after application approval and within designated timeframe. This grant cannot be applied retroactively toward purchases that have already closed.


The Minnesota State Legislature approved $1 million for fiscal year 2024 Down Payment Assistance Grants to Minnesota farmers earning less than $250,000 per year in gross agricultural sales. Applications will remain valid for purchases closing within six months after grant approval or until June 30, 2024, whichever is sooner.

The RFA expects to award approximately 66 grants in this funding cycle, dependent on size of grant requests. The RFA will award these grants using a random lottery process, with preference given to emerging farmers. If you are not an emerging farmer, you may still apply. Applications will be accepted from July 1 to July 31, 2023. The RFA will make award decisions in early to mid-August. 

Application Instructions

There are two options to apply

  1. Email a completed PDF application (available below) to

  2. Complete the online Minnesota Down Payment Assistance Grant application. No pre-registration or account is required.

Mailable applications may also be requested from the program contacts.


Release Date

August 1, 2024

Financial Instrument


Maximum Award Amount


Total Program Funding


Updated March 27, 2024

Image Credit: Joe Dudek

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