Family Farms Remain Critical to U.S. Agriculture

Find out how family farms contribute to the nation’s ag industry

There’s no denying the importance of family farming. The USDA reports family farms as an essential part of United States (U.S.) agriculture, contributing approximately 99 percent of America’s 2.1 million farms, and 89 percent of agricultural production. A family farm is classified as any farm organized as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or family corporation, excluding farms organized as nonfamily corporations or cooperatives, as well as farms with hired managers.Read More

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AgAmerica to take part in Conference for Young Farmers and Ranchers

Annual Florida Farm Bureau gathering seeks to help get younger agriculture industry professionals ‘rooted in agriculture’

This year, the Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference will be held July 13-15 at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort in St. Augustine. The conference will offer more breakout sessions and opportunities to learn about how topics affect agriculture enterprises, the Florida Farm Bureau reports. The theme this year is “Rooted in Agriculture,” which speaks to the greater concern of getting more younger professionals, ages 18-35, involved in the agriculture industry.Read More

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Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference

Florida agriculture’s future leaders will be at the Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference this July 14th-16th.

Like most state’s ag industries, Florida’s agriculture industry needs young farmers interested in stepping into the boots of the state’s retiring farmers and ranchers. It’s one reason why the Florida Farm Bureau—like state Farm Bureaus all over the country—hosts a Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference. The Florida Farm Bureau’s YF&R Leadership Conference is slated for this July 14th-16th at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Florida. Explore the offerings of this annual event below.Read More

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More and More Farm Loans Go to Young Farmers

According to the most recent (March 2014) Kiplinger Agriculture Letter, “more and more farm loans are going to young farmers in new ventures.”

New ventures typically include small urban and exurban agriculture operations, many of which provide local grocers, eateries, and “foodies” with fresh, organic herbs, vegetables, and more.

This new trend in farm credit to young farmers points to the fact that many new ventures are opening up in particular farming realms – realms that serve to diversify and boost production. For example, raising bees to supply honey at local farmer’s markets, stabling pet horses, agritourism ventures, and similar farming pursuits are all the rage these days.

Whether you are buying a new farm or making long-term improvements to your new farm,  AgAmerica’s Lending Program has an agricultural loan that will fit your ventures’ needs.  AgAmerica is proud to be the only ag lending company in the Southeast authorized to offer AgAmerica farm loans, which cover all facets of farming, from blueberry farms to larger peach orchards. When it’s time to start, expand, and/or enhance your agricultural operation, these loans are a smart choice. In fact, interest rates for these loan types often beat all other agriculture loan programs and also offer flexible payment plans!

If you are a young farmer seeking farmland financing options for your new or existing venture, contact one of our ag loan experts!

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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 AgAmerica Lending. 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.

 

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