Because yesterday was Memorial Day, it is appropriate to discuss unique programs for veterans who are also beginning farmers. If you are interested in the types of programs starting across the country, the National Young Farmers’ Coalition has a good overview.
In Nebraska, The Center for Rural Affairs spearheads the Veteran Farmers Project. The Veteran Farmers Project provides training on farming topics and financing, individual consultants, and a HelpLine.
And remember our conversation about the Farm Service Agency’s new microloans? Microloans are also available to veterans. Keep in mind that the Small Business Association also provides microloans up to $50,000 through non-profit intermediaries. The SBA loans are similar to the FSA loans — you may purchase equipment or machinery, provide working capital, purchase inventory or supplies, and/or furniture and fixtures. Of note, the microloan from the SBA cannot be used to purchase real estate. A listing of participating intermediaries by state is here.
Don’t forget, in Nebraska and South Dakota, Legal Aid of Nebraska can provide assistance to veterans who are also beginning farmers. We’re happy to help so feel free to contact us at any time!