Monday, February 13, 2012

Just in from Washington

FSA Can Help New Farmers Buy Land

Washington--A new post to the Rural Community Building Blog notes that the Agriculture Department has announced the nationwide launch of the Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher Land Contract Guarantee Program. The program is administered by the Farm Service Agency and is designed to help new farmers buy land by providing sellers a federal guarantee on land contract sales of up to $500,000. In this way, it shields sellers from the risk of buyer default and encourages them to enter into such agreements with new and disadvantaged farmers.

The program was initially established in nine states through the 2002 farm bill. The 2008 farm bill expanded it nationwide and made it permanent. USDA’s Farm Service Agency issued the final rule for the program last December. In order to find out more about the program, contact your local FSA office.

Farm Bureau has various initiatives to support beginning farmers and ranchers. In 2009, Farm Bureau partnered with USDA’s National Agricultural Library to provide information and training to beginning farmers and ranchers through the Start2Farm website, a resource site funded through the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The American Farm Bureau Federation is also hosting the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Conference in conjunction with the national Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference, Feb. 18-20, in Grand Rapids, Mich. For a variety of succession planning tools, visit Legacy by Design.

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