USDA Loans for Beginning Farmer-Veterans

USDA Loans for Beginning Farmer-Veterans
USDA's Down Payment Loan Program can help beginning farmers find help transitioning the land from retiring farmers, working with both the Farm Service agency and commercial loans.

Access to affordable farmland is one of the most significant challenges that new and aspiring farmers face when looking to start a career in agriculture.  Whether trying to find land in California’s Central Valley or New York’s Hudson Valley, land access can often be a make or break issue for anyone with hopes of starting their own farm.

USDA’s down payment loan program has been a long standing resource for new farmers over the past twenty years and will be a critical tool moving forward in addressing the aging farm population throughout the country by helping beginning farmers access their first plots of farmland.  Over the past twenty years, FSA has provided over 8,000 Down Payment loans to aid farmers in purchasing land, predominantly in the North Central region of the country.  As evident in the most recent Census of Agriculture, the North Central region has one of the youngest farming populations, which may be a direct impact of the success of this program in the region.

Joan Olson points out that the very nature of the Down Payment Loan Program means that the money will continue to come back to help support future purchases.  “The money [that’s made available through this program] can fund more farmers.  It makes sense to invest in a program like this – to grow our food production in this country, and to keep and build our farmer base strong and diverse.”

For more about this and how it benefitted a young farm family just getting started, read more from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition:

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