Special Advice for Young and Beginning Farmers

If farming is your passion – if it is what you’ve always dreamed of doing – don’t be hesitant or scared to pursue it because of the ever-changing climate of the agricultural industry.

Our advice: Farm on and don’t resist the changes.

Many young, beginning farmers have experienced success because they have been adaptive in the face of industry changes by re-purposing their land, discovering ways to produce crops with greater efficiency, taking advantage of technological advancements, using new chemicals and equipment, and promoting brand awareness through optimized web presence and social media channels.

What’s more, many young growers are taking the agritainment angle approach. In the current agricultural business atmosphere, it’s becoming increasingly important to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket. Diversification and out-of-the-box thinking are critical.

Small agricultural operations, in particular, are discovering innovative ways to get their names out there – some going as far as to encourage farm visitors. For example, vegetable farmer Brent Barnhart, owner of Country Creek Produce Farm in Chambersburg, PA, has realized success by taking the agritainment angle approach. He launched a pick-your-own-pumpkin event, created a corn maze event, and debuted a “pumpkin chucker” contest on his vegetable farm to increase the farm’s business.

Facebook has become a powerful social engine in the promotion of these unique agritainment endeavors and other farm-related happenings and pictures, along with information regarding the crop a farm is selling. Creation of a website is also a powerful tool to increase online presence and relevancy.

New farmers are doing whatever it takes to get people more involved in their farming operation and to increase awareness. Radio advertising, press releases, newspaper features and blog features, are amongst other modes farms have used to increase business outreach.

If you are a young, beginning farmer striving to get your ag operation up and running, contact Bankers South Ag Lending and Financing. Farm loans are critical for new farming operations. We encourage you to contact us for more information regarding our farmland financing for new and beginning farmers.


Good News for Young/Beginning Farmers

Oftentimes, farm loans are difficult to access for young or beginning farmers. Many agricultural loan programs have proven effective in financing farmland – FSA (Farm Service Agency) loans for example – yet now there is an additional, promising solution.

With the Senate passage of the Farm Bill, also came the potential for a new amendment – the Casey-Harkin-Johanns Microloan Authorization Amendmentthat offers young and beginning farmers up to $35,000 to get their agricultural operation up and running. This amendment has the power to allow young and beginning farmers to get the ball rolling and offers a plan to effectively realize their number one biggest concern: financial capital to start and sustain their farm businesses.

The Casey-Harkin-Johanns Microloan Authorization Amendment offers new and beginning farmers promising potential including:

  • Less heavy paperwork
  • An extended payment period
  • Low-interest farm operating loans for military veterans
  • A quicker turnaround in profit (fingers crossed!)

To be eligible for such government backed farm loan programs you must classify as a beginner or new farmer. To qualify you must:

  • Have not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years
  • Not own a farm or ranch greater than 30 percent of the median size farm in the county as described by the most recent Census for Agriculture
  • Meet the farm loan eligibility requirements of the program to which you are applying
  • Heavily participate in the farming operation

The number and types of farmland financing programs vary for new and beginning farmers. It’s good to be aware of your options so you’re able to get the farm loan that’s best for you and your farming operation. Sometimes, however, a government backed loan isn’t going to cut it. If you’re not able to acquire a government backed loan – USDA loans or FSA loans – or if these ag loan programs are not a good fit, contact us to determine a better solution. A part of our focus and concentration is getting beginning farms, ranches, and young producers the agricultural loans they need to get started with their business.