Since I’m the parent of a beginning farmer, I wonder how many of you have also found yourselves questioning how are we going to help our kids get started in farming this day and age? I think the key is how much help can you, as the parent, give them.
It is a good thing the USDA has farm loans available for beginning and underserved producers. The Farm Service Agency has funding to assist beginning farmers and members of targeted underserved groups to finance agricultural enterprises. Under these designated farm loan programs, FSA can provide financing to eligible applicants through either direct or guaranteed loans.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency defines a beginning farmer as a person who:
- Has operated a farm for not more than 10 years;
- Will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm;
- Agrees to participate in a loan assessment, borrower training and financial management program sponsored by FSA;
- Does not own a farm in excess of 30 percent of the county’s average farm size; and
- Also, the applicant must meet the loan eligibility requirements of the program to which he/she is applying.
Targeted underserved applicants are one of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as a member of the group, for example, women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
All applicants for direct farm ownership loans must have participated in a business operation of a farm for at least three years.
We call farming in our neck of the woods “Living the Dream.” In order to help the next generation get there, call your local FSA office and set up an appointment with the loan official.
That’s all for now,
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