Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

On July 1, 1983, the Utah Department of Agriculture expanded its Rangeland Development program to include cropland, watershed, and energy conservation practices. This expanded program is known as the Agriculture Resource Development Loan program or ‘ARDL’. This program is administered by the Department of Agriculture & Food (UDAF) under the direction of the Conservation Commission.

The goal of the program is to aid farmers and ranchers to:

  • Conserve soil and water
  • Increase agricultural yields
  • Maintain and improve water quality
  • Conserve and improve wildlife habitat
  • Prevent flooding
  • Develop on-farm energy projects
  • Mitigate damages resulting from natural disasters (e.g. flooding, drought, etc.)



The program provides low interest loans to farmers and ranchers for projects which meet the conservation and pollution control goals of the program. Some examples of eligible projects are:

  • Irrigation systems
  • Animal manure management
  • Riparian improvement
  • Rangeland improvement
  • Reseeding watershed
  • Wind erosion control


The projects are assessed a 4% administrative fee. The interest rate is 3% per year. Payments may be made in annual, quarterly or monthly installments.


The United States Department of Agriculture defines a “farm” as an operation of five or more acres with annual sales of at least $1,000.00. Any private farm or ranch operator who meets this definition is eligible to apply for an ARDL loan. The planned projects must be applied to farmland or ranchland.


Combining ARDL funds with other grants and loans is encouraged in order to provide the maximum benefit in conservation. There are no restrictions against combining ARDL funds with other types of funds.


Conservation of resources not only helps the environment, it helps you. Good conservation practices help to maximize profits by reducing costs through the effective use of valuable resources. Improvement of wildlife habitat, rangeland, and waterways means better conditions for livestock and wildlife as well as for better crop yields. The efficient use of water and the reduction of silt from erosion in streams and reservoirs means that more water is available for culinary and recreational purposes. The improvement of wildlife habitat and the reduction of erosion and pollution also helps improve the relations between agriculture and the environmental and urban communities, a real concern in today’s world.


An application can be obtained from your local Conservation District supervisor, your local USDA Service Center, or the Utah Department of Agriculture & Food.

Return the completed application to your Conservation District supervisor (aka Zone Coordinator). If the project meets the ARDL program guidelines a specialist from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or the Utah Association of Conservation Districts (UACD) will be assigned to help you design and develop the project.

After the project is developed it will be submitted to the local Conservation District board for review. The board will also determine the dollar amount to be allocated for the project. Project planning is done at the local level to ensure the ability to adapt to local conditions. The board will use local conservation priorities to determine the best use of funds.

When the plan is approved the application and plan are sent to the loan office at the UDAF. The State staff will approve the credit eligibility, determine collateral and prepare the loan papers. When the loan process is complete you may begin your project.


The following individuals are responsible for the handling of the applications at UDAF:

Loan Specialist: Roberta Valdez This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (801) 538-7179
Loan Specialist: Karen Rhynsburger This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (801) 538-4953


ZONE 1 (Cache, Rich, Box Elder)
Bracken Henderson, Zone Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (435) 753-6029 ext 111
FAX: (435) 755-2117
1860 N 100 E
Logan, UT 84341

ZONE 2 (Salt Lake, Weber, Davis, Morgan, Tooele)
Loralie Cox, Zone Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (801) 629-0580 ext 114
FAX: (801) 629-0574
2871 S Commerce Way
Ogden, UT 84401

ZONE 3 (Utah, Wasatch, Summit)
Dan Gunnell, Zone Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (801) 377-5580 ext 120
302 E 1860 S
Provo, UT 84606

ZONE 4 (Juab, Millard, Sevier, Sanpete, Wayne, Piute)
Tracy Balch, Zone Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (435) 896-8566
FAX: (435) 896-2002
250 E Center St
Panguitch, UT 84759

ZONE 5 (Beaver, Iron, Garfield, Kane, Washington)
Tyce Palmer, Zone Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (435) 676-8189
FAX: (435) 676-8191
250 E Center St #3
PO Box 806
Panguitch, UT 84759

ZONE 6 (Duchesne, Daggett, Uintah)
Darrell Gillman, Zone Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (435) 722-4621 ext 127
FAX: (435) 722-9065
815 S 400 W
Roosevelt, UT 84066

ZONE 7 (Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan)
Roger Barton, Zone Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (435) 381-2300 ext 113
FAX: (435) 381-5696
1090 N Des Bee Dove Road
PO Box 1114
Castle Dale, UT 84513

Low Cost Loan Programs

The division is responsible for several loan programs to help the agriculture community and others achieve various worthwhile goals for productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits for the people of Utah. At present the division has portfolios totaling more than one thousand loans with total assets of more than $36 million. The quality of the portfolios is very high with low delinquencies and a history of minimal losses. The division cooperates with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in managing one loan program, and is in process of setting up another program with that agency. Cooperation with other departments of government provides for greater efficiency with minimized duplication of effort and provides the taxpayers with more efficiency in government. The existing programs are:

  • Agriculture Resource and Development Loan (ARDL) Program. This program is the largest portfolio, consisting of about 900 loans and nearly $20 million outstanding. The program is managed by the division for the Utah Soil Conservation Commission in cooperation with the soil conservation districts throughout the State. The purpose of the loans is to finance improvements for land owners to provide for greater efficiencies in agriculture operations, range improvements, water and soil conservation, disaster assistance and environmental quality. The loans are written for a maximum of twelve year terms at three percent interest and carry a four percent administration fee that goes directly to the Utah Association of Conservation Districts (UACD) to help finance their operations. The program is a revolving fund which is growing at the rate of about $1 million per year.

  • Rural Rehabilitation Loan Programs. These programs, funded by both State and federal monies, total about $8 million, and consist of about 75 loans. The purpose of the loans is variously to help financially troubled producers to stay in business, to assist beginning farmers in obtaining farm property and to provide financing for transfer of agriculture properties from one generation to another. They are essentially loans of last resort requiring that applicants be declined by conventional commercial lenders. Terms range up to a maximum of ten years, and interest rates are five percent or less.

  • Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Loans. This program is managed for DEQ to provide financing for property owners who have underground storage tanks that require removal, replacement or remediation. Loans are made for up to $45,000 for a maximum ten year term at three percent interest.

The division cooperates with DEQ's Division of Water Quality to finance projects for eliminating or reducing non-point source water pollution on private lands.

Roberta Valdez, Loan Specialist
(801) 538-7179

Amy Wengren, Loan Specialist

(801) 538-4953

(801) 538-4940 fax

Make an online loan payment

The Agriculture Loans Section of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is involved in four agriculture and rural loan programs:

  • Agriculture Resource Development Loans (ARDL)
  • Rural Rehabilitation Loans
  • Petroleum Storage Tank Loans
  • State Revolving Fund Water Quality Loans


ARDL Program

Low-interest ARDL loans are available through the Utah Conservation Commission in cooperation with the division's program. ARDL loans are made for a maximum of 15 years at 2.5 to 3 percent interest with a one-time administration fee of 4 percent.

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Terms Max Loan to Value
Less than $52,000 3% 7 years or 15 years 70%
$52,001 - $103,999 2.75% 15 years 70%
$104,000 or more 2.5% 15 years 70%


The objectives of the program are to:

  • Conserve soil and water resources
  • Increase agricultural yields for croplands, orchards, pasture, range, and livestock
  • Maintain and improve water quality
  • Conserve and/or develop on-farm energy
  • Reduce damages to agriculture as a result of flooding, drought, or other natural disasters
  • Provide and maintain protection of crops or animal resources


The ARDL program currently has $27.6 million in assets and nearly $20 million out in loans. More than $40 million has been advanced for improvement projects by the ARDL since its beginning. The program continues to grow as loan funds are repaid with interest. The portfolio contains nearly 900 loans.

Rural Rehabilitation Loans

The Rural Rehabilitation Loan Program is another source of low-interest loans for farms and ranches. The purpose of this program is to help those who want to buy, begin or improve an agricultural operation but who cannot qualify for conventional financing. The current interest rates for these loans are from 5-6 percent. This loan fund was augmented by the Legislature to assist distressed farmers in 1992, and has since grown as a result of additional appropriations and internal growth through earnings.The program contains both state and federal funds.Total assets for this fund are $8.5 million with $7.7 million out in individual loans. Delinquencies in all loan programs are very low.

Petroleum Storage Tank Loans

In addition to the agriculture loans, the loans section manages the Petroleum Storage Tank Loan program in cooperation with the Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Loan applications and more information on the PST Program can be found here.

State Revolving Fund Water Quality Loans

The section also cooperates with the Division of Water Quality in underwriting non-point source pollution prevention loans funded by the State Revolving Fund.

Forms and Additional Information


Utah Code and Administrative Rules Pertaining to Agriculture Loans