How Farm Credit Serves Young and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Download the fact sheet: "Farm Credit: Supporting Agriculgture's Next Generation"

The Farm Credit System has an historic mission to serve U.S. agriculture and rural America. In support of that mission, Farm Credit institutions are leading providers of credit to young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers.

The Farm Credit Act requires that Farm Credit lenders have programs specially focused on meeting the needs of young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers, and Farm Credit lenders annually report their lending activity in these areas to the Farm Credit Administration, the independent federal regulatory agency that oversees the Farm Credit System.

Farm Credit's Lending Activity to Young, Beginning and Small Farmers in 2015*:

  • Young farmers are defined as those 35 years of age or younger. In 2015, Farm Credit made 62,143 new loans totaling $9.430 billion to young borrowers. In 2015, these loans represented 17.2 percent of new loans made by Farm Credit during the year and 11.3 percent of the dollar volume of all loans made. At year-end 2015 Farm Credit had $27.070 billion in outstanding loans to young farmers.
  • Beginning farmers are defined as those having 10 years or less of experience. In 2015, Farm Credit made 76,492 new loans totaling $12.741 billion to beginning farmers. In 2015, these loans represented 22.0 percent of new loans made by Farm Credit during the year and 15.2 percent of the dollar volume of all loans made. At year-end 2015, Farm Credit had $41.473 billion in outstanding loans to beginning borrowers.
  • Small farmers are defined as those having annual gross agricultural sales of $250,000 or less. In 2015, Farm Credit made 150,022 new loans totaling $11.815 billion to small farmers. In 2015, these loans represented 41.4 percent of new loans made by Farm Credit during the year and 14.1 percent of the dollar volume of all loans made. At year-end 2015, Farm Credit had $46.729 billion in outstanding loans to small farmers and ranchers.

Supporting the Future of U.S. Agriculture

Because Farm Credit System institutions are guided by boards of directors composed of agricultural producers, many of whom have sons and daughters involved in agriculture, they are highly sensitive and responsive to the needs of young, beginning and small farmers.

In addition to direct lending activities, Farm Credit System institutions serve young, beginning and small farmers through contributions and volunteer efforts in 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.

* NOTE: Since the categories are not mutually exclusive, it would be incorrect to add across the young, beginning and small categories to count total lending to young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers.

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Farm Credit by the Numbers

  • 1,062,364
    Number of Loans at Dec. 31, 2016
  • 500,000
    Farm Credit Customers Nationwide
  • $253 Billion
    Total Loan Volume at Dec. 31, 2016
  • $12.2 billion
    New Loans to Small Farmers and Ranchers in 2014
 


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