Financing for Young and Beginning Producers

Mission-driven lending to help young and beginning producers succeed.

Work With a Lender That Works for Your Future

If you have a plan to start or grow a farm or ranch, we have a plan to help you.

In fact, we have an entire team dedicated to serving young and beginning producers. It's part of our mission to grow the next generation.

More than 45% of our customer-owners are young and beginning producers, and we invest in their success every day with specialized loans, expertise, education and more. 

Discover what it means to do business with a lender whose mission is to help build the future of agriculture.

Key Benefits

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Focused on Your Success

Our experts will find the best financing options that align with your needs, whether you're starting, growing or transitioning an operation.

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Resources and Support

Access learning opportunities focused on financial skills and industry trends to help inform your business decisions.

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Growing With You

As you meet your goals and financial needs change, our products and guidance will change to grow with your operation.

Young and Beginning Specialized Loans

We look at your needs, opportunities and risk to create a customized, viable, sustainable plan to help you meet your goals.

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AgStart Loans

Modified credit standards allow producers who have a solid plan but lack capital to build their business. Qualified producers participate for up to five years. The goal is for emerging producers to graduate with the financial strength to meet traditional credit standards.

Young and Beginning Development Program

A modified installment loan for breeding livestock, contract finishing and other specialized financing for 5 to 10 years and up to $250,000, depending on size, scope and working capital needs of the operation. Qualified participants also receive financial guidance, planning and education to position them for success.

Anything Worth Growing Needs Support

Young and Beginning Eligibility

Our AgStart and Development Fund loans are limited to full- or part-time farmers and ranchers pursuing production agriculture as a primary occupation. One or more of the following qualifications* is necessary:

  • 35 years of age or less
  • 10 years or less of primary operation management
  • $350,000 or less in projected gross farm income per year

What Makes Our Young and Beginning Loans Different

AgStart has existed for more than a decade and is a market-driven program designed for young and beginning producers who have promising operations but lack the financial strength to qualify for a conventional loan.

We added the Development Fund to our young and beginning program to help the financial progress of young and beginning producers and provide additional capital through planning assistance, modified loan terms and low-interest loans that work in conjunction with AgStart or conventional financing.

Investing in the Future of Agriculture

We understand that growing the next generation takes time and commitment. We invest in young and beginning producers at every stage of their career. This includes:

  • FFA and 4-H grants, donations and sponsorships
  • Youth in Agriculture Loans to give future producers first-hand experience in business planning and farm financing
  • Scholarships to land grant, four-year and two-year universities and colleges for students pursing ag-related careers
  • Monthly Side by Side webinars aimed at the unique needs and interests of emerging producers
  • Digital financial tools to monitor and measure success

*Additional qualifications, including credit scores, financial history, and family relationships with company employees and/or board members may limit eligibility.

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Our Promise Pays

Each year, since 2004, we have returned a portion of our net earnings to eligible customer-owners in the form of cash-back dividends. We share our success in a way that effectively reduces the cost of borrowing for farmers and ranchers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Connect with a Young & Beginning Relationship Officer at your local office to learn how to prepare and what information is needed. These officers specialize in working with young and beginning customers. Additional educational resources are available through our Side by Side Digital Series.

We have many product options that align with the specific needs of a young and beginning farmer. Specialized lending options are available for new farmers looking to start, grow or develop their operation. Our Development Fund and financing provide options to help new producers.

We offer operating, installment and real estate loans, as well as development funds for breeding livestock purchases, contract finishing and working capital needs.

When our officers meet with a first-time farmer who is considering a new loan, we typically ask for a balance sheet and income statement when available. We will also help to complete a balance sheet with information from the producer. In addition to a balance sheet and income statement, the producer should complete a business plan and cash flow projection. These forms will help producers share their strategic plan around management, risk, goals, and expected cash flow of their operation.

We partner with FSA to provide options for young and beginning farmers. Your local Young and Beginning Relationship Officer will help find the best financing options that align with your needs.

Typical uses depend on the specific loan product and needs of the producer. Development Fund examples include:  

  • Cash liquidity for startup operations or operations looking to expand.
  • Restoration of liquidity in operations facing challenges.
  • Additional funds to help cover operating expenses.
  • Assistance with the purchase of breeding livestock.
  • Down payment financing for contract facilities.
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Side By Side Digital Series

Our unique educational series tackles topics tailored to young and beginning producers.

Get Started

Connect with a local office or contact us for more information.