FarmStart, a Northeast program to help young people get started in farming, has announced that it is now in its tenth year of support for beginning farmers. Farm Credit East has released a report to illustrate the program’s success through the profiles of 11 FarmStart participants.
“Farm Credit has a long-term commitment of helping individuals get started in farming, forest products and commercial fishing,” said Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO. In line with that commitment, ten years ago, Farm Credit East and CoBank initiated FarmStart, LLP, a program to support talented, hardworking individuals entering agriculture. Yankee Farm Credit joined the program in 2011. Now celebrating its tenth year, FarmStart has invested over $7 million to more than 150 participants.
“The first initiative of its kind in the United States, FarmStart helps to fulfill Farm Credit’s vision of a vibrant, entrepreneurial agricultural community by giving strong, new entrants a healthy start,” noted Lipinski. The program invests working capital of up to $50,000 to help beginning northeast farmer-owned businesses become operational. In addition, a FarmStart advisor works with each participant to help the new business evaluate their financial results.
In celebration of the program’s tenth year, Farm Credit East released Investing in the Success of Beginning Farmers: Ten Years of FarmStart. This report profiles 11 FarmStart participants, some who are just getting started and others who have graduated the program. Each shares their advice for getting started and the new approaches many are using to garner success in the competitive agriculture industry. The report also looks at key challenges new farmers face.