The commissioner may sell or lease property acquired by the state in a manner that protects the interests of the state. Persons desiring to purchase or lease property must apply to the commissioner.
(a) The commissioner must attempt to sell agricultural property to persons entering farming and farmers that need additional property to continue their farming operations.
(b) The commissioner must give priority to applicants desiring to purchase or lease property who:
(1) are residents of the state of Minnesota;
(2) have sufficient education, training, or experience in the type of farming for which the property is desired and agree to continued participation in a farm management program, approved by the commissioner for at least the first ten years;
(3) have, including the applicant's dependents and spouse, a total net worth valued at less than $100,000 and have demonstrated a need for acquiring property from the commissioner;
(4) intend to purchase farm land to be used by the applicant for agricultural purposes; and
(5) are credit worthy according to standards prescribed by the commissioner.
(c) The commissioner must attempt to sell the property by a cash sale. Agricultural property may be leased with an option to purchase to accommodate a sale. The commissioner should avoid long-term leasing of property.
(a) Acquired property that has marginal land as defined in section 103F.511, subdivision 7, or wetlands must be restricted from agricultural use on the marginal land or wetlands.
(b) If the commissioner determines that all or a portion of acquired property should be taken out of agricultural use or particular agricultural uses should be restricted, the commissioner shall have the attorney general prepare an easement restricting the agricultural use and record the easement with the county recorder where the property is located.
The commissioner may place easements on acquired property restricting development and allowing only agricultural or conservation use.