Farm Credit supports beginning farmers across the country
When Reginaldo "Regi" Haslett-Marroquin dreamed of starting his regenerative poultry farm, he didn't have credit or meet many of the financial requirements for a loan. Then he turned to Compeer Financial, a Farm Credit lender. Through its emerging markets program, Compeer worked with Regi to eventually build his first regenerative poultry farm. Today, as a beginning farmer, Regi works with other immigrants to help them find their start in agriculture. Watch Regi's story below.
- Farm Credit's Mission: Support Young, Beginning & Small Farmers
A critical component of Farm Credit’s mission focuses on providing assistance to beginning farmers.
Whether they choose to focus on conventional, organic, sustainable, local food-related operations, direct-to-retail or other emerging business models, Farm Credit supports beginning farmers and ranchers of all types.
Young farmers are defined as those under 36 years of age, beginning farmers are defined as having 10 years or less of experience and small farmers are defined as those having less than $250,000 in annual sales.
Every local Farm Credit institution is sensitive and responsive to the needs of young, beginning and small (YBS) farmers and has a dedicated program for them. Examples of YBS programs include training and seminars on topics such as intergenerational transfer of family farms, risk management techniques, financial skills training and establishing effective business plans. For examples of YBS educational resources, please see our Farmer & Rancher Education page.
- We Make Loans of All Sizes
To put Farm Credit’s commitment to small farmers and ranchers into perspective, at the end of 2018 nearly half of the more than one million Farm Credit loans outstanding were to small farmers and ranchers.
The overwhelming majority of Farm Credit loans are small in size. As shown below, 77 percent of Farm Credit borrowers have loans between $1,000 and $250,000. Only about 6 percent of Farm Credit borrowers have loans of greater than $1 million, and those customers include many farmer-owned cooperatives, rural electric cooperatives and other rural infrastructure providers whose borrowing needs are vastly larger than those of nearly all farmers.
- We Support the Future of Agriculture
In addition to direct lending activities, Farm Credit lenders serve beginning farmers through contributions and volunteer efforts. We support of organizations such as FFA and 4-H by conducting training programs, management seminars and educational retreats for young farmers, and by supporting scholarship programs for farm youth entering college. Farm Credit also supports the Farmer Veteran Coalition and actively reaches out to veterans and returning service members seeking careers and employment in agriculture.