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Farm Credit Featured in Rural Cooperatives Magazine

Farm Credit Featured in Rural Cooperatives Magazine

USDA’s nationally distributed Rural Cooperatives Magazine featured an article in the September/October issue highlighting Farm Credit’s increasing support for beginning farmers and highlights from Farm Credit’s Beginning Farmer panel held in Washington, D.C. in June.

Among the article highlights is mention of the 45 percent increase in Farm Credit lending to beginning farmers over the past 10 years. Farm Credit completed nearly 80,000 new loans, worth nearly $13 billion, to beginning farmers and ranchers in 2015 alone. The number of loans made to beginning producers increased by 12.2 percent -- or more than 5,000 loans -- since 2014. More than one in five Farm Credit loans was made to beginning farmers in 2015. On average, for every hour of every day last year, Farm Credit made well over $1 million in loans to beginning farmers and ranchers.

Beginning farmers face special challenges in accessing credit, in part because they have not yet had the opportunity to build equity in their businesses. Making loans to these farmers requires deep knowledge of local agricultural conditions and the ability to tailor financing programs to meet the distinct needs of beginning producers. Most beginning farmers start conservatively, borrowing smaller amounts and working to build equity in their operations over time. Last year, the average Farm Credit loan to a beginning farmer or rancher was up slightly from 2014, to almost $160,000.

Farm Credit has long supported beginning farmers, a commitment that continues to serve as a cornerstone of lending practices. As Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose said in the article, “The significant increase in Farm Credit lending to beginning farmers demonstrates our strong commitment to provide stable access to credit across the agriculture industry. Beginning farmers and ranchers have always been an integral piece of Farm Credit’s mission, and we make specific efforts to meet their unique financing needs.”

Read the full article here.