The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has a program through their Rural Finance Authority to help beginning farmers. It is actually a Minnesota tax break for existing farmers that sell or lease their land, equipment or livestock to young beginning farmers. Applicants must be a Minnesota resident who wishes to start farming or has been farming for less than 10 years, and have a net worth of less than $862,000.

Applicants must be able to provide a positive cash flow, be enrolled in a financial management program and not be related "by blood or marriage to the person from whom he or she is buying or renting assets." Here are the three levels of credits that are available from the MDA news release on the Beginning Farmers Tax Credit:

  • "5% of the lesser of the sale price or fair market value of the agricultural asset up to a maximum of $32,000
  • 10% of the gross rental income of each of the first, second and third years of a rental agreement, up to a maximum of $7,000 per year
  • 15% of the cash equivalent of the gross rental income in each of the first, second or third year of a share rent agreement, up to a maximum of $10,000 per year"
  • These tax credits are on a first come, first served basis and the deadline for application is October 1, 2021.
  • In addition farmers can apply for a separate tax credit to cover the cost of a financial management program for up to $1,500 per year for up to three years.
  • More information can be found on the MDA website Beginning Farmer Tax Credit.
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