There was a story in the USA Today recently that might come as a surprise to some in the world of farming. It said that the number of women farmers has increased dramatically in the past decade. This isn’t just wives or daughters of farmers but women who have decided to take on farm operations of their own.

In fact, women farmers have increased 19 percent since 2002, while the number of farmers overall grew by just 7 percent, according to the USDA. In places like Iowa, women now make up 20 percent of all farmers.

Some of these farmers took over the operation after they outlived their fathers or husbands, but more and more, women are choosing to enter farming on their own.

No matter how they enter the industry, women farmers should know what’s available to them in the form of agricultural loans that could help their operations grow.

First and foremost is the AgAmerica Conventional Real Estate Loans, which offer extremely low financing and are as competitive as anything in ag lending, including government farm loans. AgAmerica loans come with several options, including a 25-year fully amortized loan and a 10-year AgEquity Revolving Line of Credit.

Women farmers who are new to ag lending may also want to consider the Transitional Lending program from Bankers South. These loans are often called “hard money” loans and are based on collateral. These are ideal for, say, new ranch financing to buy grazing land, or as a citrus loan to buy new groves. They can also be used as a hobby farm loan for someone looking to buy a new four-wheeler for the grandkids or a new boat for the weekends.

It may also be important to women farmers who are new to ag lending to look for a banker who strives to make a personal connection with clients. Here at Bankers South, we approach every farm loan refinancing or new hard money loan or any other type of loan as a chance to develop a relationship with a client we hope to keep for life. Whether you’re a female or a male farmer, here at Bankers South, we’re going to give you that personal approach we hope will become a long-lasting relationship.