Until recently, applicants for an FSA direct farm ownership loan had to prove they participated in the operations of a farm for at least three years. Beginning farmers identified this eligibility requirement as a barrier to land access, as the requirement was not reflective of current realities for beginning farmers. However, the eligibility requirement has changed.
Now, a beginning farmer may substitute one year of the three-year requirement with a formal farm apprenticeship, operation or management of a non-farm business, leadership or management experience while serving in any branch of the military, advanced education in an agricultural field, or significant experience in a farm-related career.
Hopefully, this change will allow more beginning farmers access to direct loans from FSA. If you need any assistance, feel free to contact us — we’re happy to help!