Farm Opportunities Loan Program

Last updated: July 18, 2019

Program Overview

Implementing Sector:State
Category:Financial Incentive
Incentive Type:Loan Program
Web Site:
Administrator:Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Funding Source:Sustainable Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:Solar Water Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind (All), Biomass, Wind (Small), Hydroelectric (Small), Anaerobic Digestion
Eligible Efficiency Technologies:Yes; specific technologies not identified
Maximum Loan:$45,000 per farm family ($180,000 for joint projects)
Loan Term:Up to 10 years
Interest Rate:Fixed interest rate (currently 3%)


Name:Minn. Stat. § 17.115
Date Enacted:1988


The Farm Opportunity Loan Program (formerly known as the Sustainable Agriculture Loan Program) is designed to finance the purchase of equipment to add value to crops or livestock, adopt best management practices, reduce agricultural inputs to improve the environment, and increase on-farm energy production. Eligible loan uses do not include expenses related to seed, fertilizer, fuel, or other operating expenses. Refinancing of existing debt is not an eligible expense.

This is a loan participation program available through the Rural Finance Authority (RFA). Farmers will work through their local lender. Upon completion of an application, the lender will apply for RFA participation. The RFA must have a completed Master Participation Agreement with the lender on file.

Loan Terms


The RFA may participate in a Farm Opportunity loan equal to 80% of the project or equipment cost. Participation is limited to 45% of the principal amount of the loan or $45,000 per individual, whichever is less. For loans to a group made up of four or more individuals, participation is limited to 45% of the principal amount of the loan or $180,000, whichever is less.

The loan will be for a maximum of 10 years. The interest rates and repayment terms of the authority’s participation interest may differ from the interest rates and repayment terms of the lender’s retained portion of the loan, but the authority’s interest rate is currently 3%. The authority may review the interest annually and make adjustments as necessary.

The originating lender will retain the balance of each loan. The borrower must satisfy the local lender’s guidelines. The local lender will control the day-to-day operation of the loan. Participating lenders are allowed to charge a fixed or adjustable interest rate consistent with their normal lending practices and their agreement with the RFA.

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