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Minnesota Rural Finance Authority loan program for emerging farmers doubles max amount

The Pilot Agricultural Microloan Program can be used for working capital, equipment or other farm asset purchases.

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Maximum loan amount is doubled to $20,000 so Emerging Farmers can receive more help. A field outside Willmar is shown in this file photo. Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune file photo

ST. PAUL — A loan program designed to help nontraditional farmers start or expand their businesses is doubling the maximum amount that emerging farmers can borrow, from $10,000 to $20,000.

According to a news release, loans from the Pilot Agricultural Microloan Program from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture 's Rural Finance Authority can be used for working capital or equipment and other farm purchases with a common useful life of 10 years or less.

The Minnesota Legislature this year appropriated the funds to expand the maximum amount.

“We at the (Minnesota Department of Agriculture) are examining how to better support emerging farmers , and this is one more tool we can use to increase our support for farmers who have traditionally faced barriers to the education and resources necessary to succeed,” said Assistant Commissioner Patrice Bailey in the release.

Loans can be obtained through participating local lenders. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

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  • Be a Minnesota resident;
  • Be a member of a protected group or qualified non-citizen;
  • Use funds towards production and marketing of specialty crops or eligible livestock;
  • Demonstrate an ability to repay the loan.

For more information, visit the Pilot Agricultural Microloan Program web page at mda.state.mn.us .

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