Ask FSA Andy about youth loans

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corn kernels and dollar bills
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

Hello again,

I hope that the wet weather hasn’t dampened your spirits or fields too much. Planting sure would be easier if we could pick our own weather.

There are lots of things happening at FSA right now and I want to remind you all of a few important deadlines.

Crop reports

When you are done planting, make sure to stop in your local FSA office and report your crops.

I know that hay reporting changed to the fall and that might make the dates confusing. You have until July 15 to report your spring planted crops. If you have a lot on your plate, an appointment will save you some time.

Also while we are talking about dates, you have until Aug. 1 to get your ARC/PLC contracts signed. Those of you who have new farms might need to get owners signatures or leases.

Check in with your FSA office to see what you need to make sure you meet the deadlines.

Youth loans

With school ending and fair season quickly approaching, the offices have had quite a few calls about Youth Loans, so I thought this would be a good time to talk a bit about them.

Youth loans are an excellent tool for 4-H, FFA, or a similar agricultural group to start and pay for a project.

Let’s say you’re a young person in FFA who needs to get a little funding to start your feeder calf project. Your FFA adviser suggests getting a FSA Youth loan. As long as you are between 10 and 21, are a US citizen, and have an income based project, this loan is a possible solution for you.

You can use this loan to purchase anything you might need to make your project successful. For example your animals, feed, or things you might need to install at your farm to care for or complete your project.

The maximum amount for a youth loan is $5,000. Most youth loan borrowers use the loan to get a project started, and when sell their projects at the fair or market to repay the loan.

Building credit

Another side benefit of this project is that the youth on the loan is building a credit history. This can make getting loans for college, or lines of credit down the road much easier.

We have had a lot of youth loans borrowers that got farm or operating loans as adults. Several of our youth loan borrowers were able to start FFA projects in high school and pay their way through college.

We are able to give a bit of counseling to the borrower so they understand the loan process and how it’s important to build good credit history.

Please feel free to contact your local FSA office with any questions. We are here to help.

Have a great week,

FSA Andy

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FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio.

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