Coordinating the financing you’ll need for your farm operation may seem overwhelming at times. How you finance your land may be different than how you finance your home or your cattle or equipment. Access to operating funds may present another challenge. Below are listed many resources that can be accessed to help with loans, and grants, for your farm. Some will help you with general financing needs for your farm. Some will help you with grants for specific projects or needs on the farm. Understanding the process may initially appear to be confusing but with persistence and patience you’ll find the right partners and programs to help you build your successful farm operation.
To prepare for your first visit with any lender, plan to bring along three years of tax returns, a current balance sheet, operating projections for the coming year and a personal financial statement. If you are a beginning farmer you may not have a current balance sheet but you will have developed operating projections in your business planning process. In our Resource Library, Sample Ag Projected Cash Flows, is a financial planning form that can guide you through anticipating possible operating projections for the coming year. SCORE has a Personal Financial Statement Template that you can use for bank or financing needs.
USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development can support the purchase of land, equipment and buildings through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee program. USDA provides a guarantee to a local bank who loans the money directly to you. Contact your local bank to find out if it participates in the program or contact contacts USDA Rural Development office to find a local lender participating in the B & I guarantee program.
USDA has resources available through its Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS) to help fund infrastructure such as high tunnels and efficient irrigation on farms. NRCS offers both financial and technical assistance. Eligible applicants are agricultural producers farming eligible land in both rural and urban areas. For assistance contact your local NRCS Service Center to learn about the technical and financial resources available from NRCS.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service can support equipment purchases, though not brick-and-mortar construction. The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) helps to establish or expand direct farm-to-consumer markets. The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) helps with planning and implementation stages of establishing or expanding local and regional intermediary (non-direct-to-consumer) food business enterprises.
USDA Rural Development (RD)’s Value-Added Producer Grants are available for working capital, planning, marketing, and outreach. Specific funds are available for projects that focus on local and regional food and local supply networks or support beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, veterans, and small or medium-sized farms or ranches. Agricultural producers are eligible to apply. For help contact your local RD Service Center to learn more about these grants.
Farm Service Agency
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm loans offers loans to help farmers and ranchers with financing to start up expand or maintain a family farm. FSA’s Farm Loan Discovery Tool helps you find the loan that might be right for your operations. Their Fund Page goes one step further to introduce you to loan and grant resources available through USDA or FSA some which have been presented throughout this document. Contact your local FSA Service Center for help.
USDA Farm Service Agency Farm Storage Facility Loans is for cold storage of fruit and vegetables along with wash and pack facilities and related equipment. Contact your local FSA Service Center to learn about the Farm Storage Facility Loan program.
National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program provides reimbursements for up to 75 percent of the costs of organic certification, up to a maximum of $750 per certification. Funds are made available through states, generally departments of agriculture. Read more about the specifics such as current funding, fact sheets, and upcoming events then contact your state program to learn more and apply for reimbursement.
Bank of North Dakota
Most of the Bank of North Dakota’s agricultural lending programs start with your local bank. Your local bank makes you the loan and the Bank of North Dakota provides a guarantee to the lender.
North Central North Dakota Commercial Banks & Credit Unions
American Bank Center at Devils Lake and Cando offer operating lines of credit and livestock, equipment and capital loans for Ag operators.
Bremer Bank at Devils Lake and Rugby offer farm land loans, farm equipment financing, crop and livestock financing as well as specialized financing.
Citizens State Bank https://www.csbmsl.com/Products at Mohall, Sherwood and Lansford offers Ag loans.
Choice Bank at Langdon’s Ag Solutions program offers seasonal operating loans, livestock purchase options, real estate loans, equipment financing and leasing, BND and FSA guaranteed loans.
Dacotah Bank in Rolla and Belcourt offers term loans, line of credit, equipment leasing and federal programs such as FSA guaranteed loans.
Dakota West Credit Union at Mohall offers Ag loans to purchase farmland, make improvement or refinance existing debt, fund operating lines of credit and purchase equipment.
Farmers & Merchants State Bank at Langdon offers agricultural operating loans, real estate loans, equipment and livestock purchase loans, beginning farmer loans, BND and FSA guarantee loans.
First National Bank & Trust at Bottineau offers operating, real estate, machinery, livestock, FSA guaranteed and BND guaranteed agricultural loans.
First State Bank of Cando at Cando, Rocklake and Bisbee offer loans for purchase of farm real estate, annual farm operating loans and participates with the BND guaranteed Ag loan programs.
First State Bank of Harvey at Anamoose offers Ag loans.
Merchants Bank at Rugby and Towner offers operating, real estate, equipment and livestock Ag loans.
Northstar Community Credit Union in Velva offers operating/lines of credit, equipment/machinery, livestock, Ag real estate and farm infrastructure loans.
People’s State Bank of Velva partners with farmers and ranchers on operating lines of credit, farm and ranch equipment financing, livestock and Ag real estate loans. People’s State also participates with BND guaranteed loans; FSA guaranteed and subordinated loans and FarmerMAC real estate loans.
Ramsey National Bank at Devils Lake and Rugby offer farm loans for crop production, operating lines of credit, equipment and land purchase loans and loans for any farm related need.
Rolette State Bank offers the following agricultural loans: Operating, new and used equipment, livestock, and real estate, FSA guaranteed, FSA subordinated and Bank of North Dakota.
State Bank of Bottineau offers farm operating lines of credit, machinery, livestock and real estate Ag loans.
United Community Bank at Drake and Leeds offers annual operating loans and lines of credit, livestock purchase loans, Ag machinery/equipment loans, farm infrastructure loans and Ag real estate loans.
Western Bank in Devils Lake offers operating loans, equipment financing, livestock loans, loans for real estate and FSA guaranteed loans for agricultural operations.
Farm Credit Services
AgCountry Farm Credit Services provides credit and financial service products for farmers and ranchers. AgCountry is part of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of cooperative financial service institutions serving rural America.
Farm Credit Services of North Dakota provides credit to farmers and ranchers. Operating loans, equipment and machinery loans, real estate loans, family farmer loans and young and beginning farmer loans are available.
Farm Credit Services of Mandan is a farmer-owned cooperative lender providing credit and financial management services and part of the national Farm Credit System. FCS provides loans for real estate, operating, young/beginning farmers, equipment loans/leases, inventory, cash management and credit lines.
Additional North Central North Dakota Financing Resources
Bottineau County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC) offers financial incentives for new businesses. Their revolving loan provides gap financing at a low interest rate. BCEDC encourages development of new and expanded uses of North Dakota agricultural projects through the ND Department of Agriculture’s APUC program. Contact BCEDC to determine eligibility of these programs or possible tax incentives.
North Central Planning Council serves Benson, Eddy, Cavalier, Ramsey Rollette and Towner counties. The planning council offers a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) which supports economic development and may be available for startup farm businesses. Another potential is the CONAC Micro-Loan which also supports rural economic development and may be a resource to provide gap financing for a startup farm business. You can also access CONAC’s microloan through the Rugby JDA.
Renville County Job Development Authority Loan fund provides financing to business startup and expansions within the county.
Souris Basic Planning Council (SBPC) has grant funds available to support local foods projects. Contact SBDC to find out more about eligibility.
Cooperative Farming: Frameworks for Farming Together is a toolkit helpful if you plan to share farm equipment and other infrastructure resources.
Iowa State has developed a resource specific to machinery sharing, called Machinery Sharing Manual for Fruit and Vegetable Growers. This resource examines ways to share purchasing and maintenance costs as well as suggestions for time management.
Farmers Business Network https://www.fbn.com/financing is a global company that offer land financing, operating lines of credit and equipment financing.
See the Resource Library for Beginning Farmers and Small Farms for more programs that can bring funding to a small farm operation.