USDA Expands New Farmer Loans

In an announcement earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that they were expanding eligibility for loans for beginning and disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Over the past several years, the average age of American farmers has been increasing, leading to a graying of the profession. In addition, while agriculture remains a major part of the American economy, the number of Americans engaged in farming has decreased, with more and more agricultural production being consolidated in the hands of large-scale agribusinesses.

According to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, one of the biggest complaints he has heard as he tours the country is the difficulty in acquiring enough capital for new farmers to open up an agricultural business.

The new rules being considered would provide flexibility for Farm Service Agency officers to consider prior farm training (including formal and informal education) when making loans. In addition, the rules would encourage farmers and ranchers to sell their property to a new generation of farmers by offering landowners a 90 percent guarantee against losses to the seller.

Vilsack and the USDA hope that these new rules will help bring young farmers into the agricultural profession.

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