News Releases

November 06, 2008

Beginning Farmers Get Support from Federal, State and Private Agriculture Groups

Montpelier, Vt – This week, representatives from Farm Service Agency (FSA), Yankee Farm Credit and the Agency of Agriculture signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help beginning farmers get financial assistance to establish viable farming operations.

The MOU solidifies an agreement between the parties to provide cooperation and participation in joint funding between FSA and Yankee Farm Credit with the assistance of the State of Vermont for beginning farmers. Assistance will be provided for qualified beginning farmers through the use of the Down Payment Loan Program or guaranteed loan programs.

“This Memorandum of Understanding will benefit beginning farmers in Vermont. For guaranteed loans that Yankee Farm Credit makes to qualified beginning farmers, FSA will waive the usual 1 percent guarantee fee – thereby reducing costs,” said George Putnam, President of Yankee Farm Credit. “Cash flow is especially tight for beginning farmers. The waiver of this fee will allow these operators to keep more of their cash on the farm.”

FSA has made a commitment, targeting several loan programs to assist beginning farmers to help create and launch their first farm and have targeted funds to help finance the purchase of a farm.

“This initiative is a great opportunity for the farm community in Vermont and particularly for beginning farmers to get the benefits of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Yankee Farm Credit and the Farm Service Agency committing their combined resources to the future of Vermont Agriculture,” said Harvey Smith, State Executive Director of FSA in Vermont.

“The costs to start a farm business can be very expensive – equipment, land, facility – can really add up. Many people starting out farming don’t have that sort of capital on hand,” said Roger Allbee, Secretary of Agriculture. “The MOU we signed today allows for lower loan costs and fees that will assist farmers in the lending process. Agriculture is a very important part of our economy and we continue to search for creative ways to make it as viable as possible for those who want to farm to be able to.”

The MOU went into effect immediately. For more information about the assistance available, contact your local FSA office.

Source: Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
Last Updated at: November 06, 2008 09:24:11