Farm Credit lenders increased their support for young, beginning and small (YBS) farmers and ranchers across the country in 2021, according to a Farm Credit Administration (FCA) report.
The dollar volume of loans made by the Farm Credit System overall increased by 12.7% in 2021. In that year alone, the dollar volume of new Farm Credit loans to young farmers increased by 8.3%, to beginning farmers by 16.7% and to small farmers by 9.3%, compared with the previous year.
In addition, the number of new loans made by the Farm Credit System overall increased by 2.1% in 2021. During the year, the number of new Farm Credit loans to young farmers increased by 2.8%, to beginning farmers by 3.0% and to small farmers by 0.8%, compared with the previous year.
“Across the country, Farm Credit lenders dedicate significant resources to supporting young and beginning farmers. It’s a critical part of Farm Credit’s mission, and it’s critical to the future of American agriculture,” said Todd Van Hoose, Farm Credit Council chief executive officer. “In 2021, Farm Credit made more loans to young and beginning farmers for more money than ever before. Across the country, Farm Credit lenders made 97,127 loans to beginning farmers last year, amounting to more than $26 billion.”
Under the definition set by the FCA:
- A young farmer is age 35 or younger.
- A beginning farmer has 10 years or less of farming experience.
- A small farmer has gross annual farm sales of less than $250,000.
*YBS numbers cannot be combined. FCA counts a single loan to a 25-year-old rancher in her third year of ranching with annual sales of $100,000 in the young, beginning and small categories. Farm Credit institutions report this way for two reasons: FCA requires it, and it provides the most accurate portrayal of who Farm Credit serves.