Agrarian Trust

Bank of North Dakota: First Time Farmer Lending!

Helping First-Time North Dakota Farmers Finance Their Land.

With other big interests vying for land use in the state, and low incomes for beginning farmers, this program could help get farmers on the land. Will it attract sustainable practices? Can it be recreated in other states? Definitely a program to keep an eye on.

From the Bank of North Dakota:

First Time Farmer Finance Program

The North Dakota First Time Farmer Finance program (NDFTFFP) is a tax-exempt bond program designed to assist First Time Farmers in the state of North Dakota to acquire agricultural property at lower interest rates. Bank of North Dakota (BND), acting as the Farm Finance Agency, determines the eligibility of the applicant and also approves and issues the bond. The bond then is assigned to a Bond Purchaser which typically is a financial institution or contract holder. Since the interest received by the Bond Purchaser is exempt from state and federal tax, the interest rate to the First Time Farmer is at a lower rate.

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Qualifying Requirements

Borrower – A First Time Farmer is required to meet the following criteria:

  • A First Time Farmer must be a North Dakota resident at time of funding.
  • A First Time Farmer must be at least 18 years of age.
  • A First Time Farmer is a person who has never had any direct or indirect ownership interest in Substantial Farmland in the operation of which he/she has materially participated. An ownership interest or material participation by a person’s spouse or child will be attributed to the person as well.
  • A First Time Farmer must have a net worth of not more than $750,000.
  • The agricultural land, agricultural improvements and depreciable agricultural property shall be used for farming by the First Time Farmer, spouse, or minor children.

Use of Proceeds – Finance the purchase of ND land suitable for use in farming, finance the construction or purchase of improvements located on agricultural land, or the purchase of personal property suitable for use in farming for which an income tax deduction for depreciation is allowed in computing federal income taxes. The loan maximum is $509,600 for agricultural land and improvements. No more than $250,000 of the $509,600 aggregate loan amount can be used for Agricultural Improvements and Depreciable Agricultural Chattel Property. In addition, within the $250,000 limitation, no more than $62,500 can be used for Depreciable Agricultural Chattel Property.

Collateral – Collateral is negotiable between bond purchaser and the borrower.

Application Process

Application forms are available from BND. The application should be completed by the First Time Farmer and Bond Purchaser and submitted to BND.

Interest Rate

The interest rate is a tax-exempt rate negotiated by the First Time Farmer and the Bond Purchaser.

Repayment Terms

The repayment terms are negotiated by the First Time Farmer and the Bond Purchaser.


The First Time Farmer or Bond Purchaser must submit to BND a non-refundable $100 application fee. A loan fee equal to 1% of the amount of the bond, but not less than $500, must be paid to BND by the First Time Farmer at loan closing. The loan fee may be financed with bond proceeds, or in the case of a contract sale, the loan fee may be included in the purchase price reflected in the sales contract.

Program Summary

Click the following link to download the Program Summary.

For more information please contact us at:

Bank of North Dakota
1200 Memorial Hwy
PO Box 5509
Bismarck, ND 58506-5509
800.472.2166 ext. 328.5786
TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) 800.643.3916