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Beginning Farm & Ranch Loan Program

Application and Qualifications

  • The beginning farmer/rancher must have a net worth of $477,000 or less.
  • The beginning farmer/rancher may not have previously owned any substantial amount of farm/ranch land. Any parcel of land is substantial farm/ranch land unless the parcel is smaller than 30 percent of the median size of a farm or ranch in the county the parcel is located.
  • Beginning Farm/Ranch Loan Program funds may be used to purchase agricultural land, agricultural improvements, and depreciable agricultural property.
  • Property may be purchased from relatives only through third-party lenders.
  • The loan maximums under existing federal laws are:
    ◦$477,000 for agricultural land and improvements.
    ◦Of the possible $477,000, no more than $125,000 can be for depreciable agricultural property, of which no more than $62,500 can be for "used" property.

    There is no minimum loan amount, under the program. The financial institution will make a credit evaluation of the beginning farmer/rancher, establish collateral deemed necessary and, with the beginning farmer/rancher, arrange the terms of the loan or contract. 
Application to include:
  • Completed application form - Follow link at bottom of page.
  • Current financial statement
  • Background letter
  • Non-refundable $50 application fee
Application Period

There is no formal or defined application period.  The loan program is ongoing, therefore an application may be submitted at any time.




Agriculture Development & Marketing Bureau

Montana Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 200201
Helena, MT 59620-0202
Phone: (406) 444-2402
Fax: (406) 444-9442




Published: Thu Oct 13 09:11:00 MDT 2011.
Last Modified: Thu Sep 08 15:38:30 MDT 2016