FarmStart Program Continues to Grow Northeast Agriculture through Support of Beginning Farmers
ENFIELD, CT, Apr. 13, 2012 - FarmStart, an innovative Northeast program to help young people get started in farming, announced at its Annual Meeting held recently that it has invested more than $3.9 million to 92 participants since launch and continues to grow.
Farm Credit has a long-term commitment of helping young individuals get started in farming. As part of that commitment, Farm Credit East and CoBank initiated FarmStart, LLP; a program to support talented, hardworking individuals entering agriculture. In 2011, the addition of Yankee Farm Credit expanded the program to include the state of Vermont and parts of New Hampshire and northeastern New York.
“The three partners in FarmStart, Farm Credit East, CoBank and Yankee Farm Credit are very interested in supporting innovative financing options for young and beginning farmers in the Northeast,” said David Boone, regional manager and FarmStart program director. “There are many excellent young people getting started in agriculture and we are very pleased to provide capital in support of these entreprenuers.”
Since the first investment approved in August of 2006, FarmStart has invested more than $3.9 million to 92 participants. A total of thirteen investments have paid in full over the six year period. Eight of the 13 became regular Farm Credit East loan customers, three were refinanced by the USDA Farm Service Agency and two left farming.
FarmStart invests working capital of up to $50,000 to help these northeast agricultural businesses become operational. The investment functions the same as an operating line of credit. It is intended to provide the critical last dollar of funding to overcome the timing mismatch that makes it difficult for true startup farming operations to generate working capital.
The first initiative of its kind in theUnited States, FarmStart helps to fulfill Farm Credit’s vision of a vibrant, entrepreneurial agricultural community by giving strong, new entrants a healthy start. Through FarmStart, LLP, Farm Credit East recognizes the need to invest in the future of farming and agriculture in the Northeast.
For more information on FarmStart please visit FarmCreditEast.com.