One of the greatest barriers for next generation farmers is the enormous investment required for starting a farm operation. Not only can the cost of farmland be prohibitively high, but acquiring the necessary equipment and improvements can also be a significant financial challenge. Many next generation farmers have not had the opportunity to develop a financial track record that allows them to qualify for conventional loans. Such hurdles can be showstoppers for many seeking to follow their farm aspirations, but they don’t have to be.
Colorado Land Link has recently been exploring what opportunities exist in Colorado for next generation farmers to not only lease land but to purchase if they are so interested. Many excellent loan options exist out there to do exactly that, and Guidestone is developing resources that help Colorado Land Link applicants in reviewing and determining which federal or state loan program would best meet their start-up needs.
One such loaning agency is the Colorado chapter of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Beginning farmer loans are available for real estate, livestock, inventory, and operations at very low interest rates. New producers who are looking to expand their operations may also qualify. Interested individuals may learn more about FSA Beginning Farmer loan programs by clicking here or find their local FSA county office here.
Other options that can help applicants navigate are offered through the Colorado Agriculture Development Authority (CADA), which has a Beginning Farmer Program that provides low interest loans to new farmers. The Colorado Rural Rehabilitation Corporation offers excellent loan opportunities to help beginning farmers get started as well. If qualified, there are real estate and livestock loans available for the full amount with no down payment.