Funding an Obstacle for New Farmers

With the farm industry facing a gradual greying of their profession, farm officials are scrambling to devise new ways to attract young people into the agricultural sector. Recent reports suggest that the largest obstacle facing young farmers is a critical lack of capital.

According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census, the percentage of farmers aged 65 and older shot up 22 percent from 2002. This number represents a major increase and underscores the gradual aging of the agricultural profession. Without new farmers entering the profession, the average age will continue increasing. Once these farmers retire, the nation could face a serious production problem.

Farm organization and agricultural officials have argued that a lack of capital is a major hurdle to new farmers. In an age when credit and loans are harder and harder to obtain, many young people simply lack the necessary equity to buy new farms, purchase farm equipment, or start and agricultural business.

The USDA hopes to overcome these issues by offering grants and low-interest farm loans to new farmers. Earlier this month, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a new USDA program that would offer funding to individuals entering the farm profession, hoping that an influx of new blood can help halt the demographic trends.

To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer