Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is extending its loan program to help young farmers purchase or improve farmland and buildings for a third year.
“Many young people want to return to the farm or become more rooted in agriculture because they see a bright future in this dynamic industry,” FCC President and CEO Michael Hoffort said. “We share their vision and are committed to offering products and services tailored to their unique situation.”
Launched in March 2012, the Young Farmer Loan Program offers qualified producers, who are under 40, loans of up to $500,000 to purchase or improve farmland and buildings. The loan includes features to support their long-term success, including variable lending rates at prime plus 0.5%, a special fixed rate if producers choose that avenue of repayment and no loan processing fees.
Young farmers have accessed and been approved for more than $861 million in FCC loans since the program was announced. To address the obvious need, FCC is increasing its commitment to $1.5 billion.
“Reinvesting in this essential type of program is another example of FCC’s undeniable commitment to agriculture and the great people in this industry,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said. “As the only financial lender offering this unique program, FCC is encouraging more and more young Canadians to take a serious look at a career in agriculture.”
Enabling young producers to borrow with no fees at affordable interest rates helps them develop a solid credit history and build their business.
“FCC’s Young Farmer Loan was exactly what I needed to become established in the industry,” said Darren Oliphant, who operates a grain farm with his dad and brother near Eston, Saskatchewan. “It helped me move from participant to business owner, and I’m looking forward to a long and rewarding career.”
“The Young Farmer Loan came at the right time for our business,” said Jean-Philippe Lajoie, who owns maple syrup operation, La Tanière inc., with his wife Véronique Bilodeau, in Sainte-Lucie-de-Beauregard, Quebec. “The flexibility and the loan’s interest rate were very appealing, allowing us to focus more on our operation and spend less time worrying about finances.”
The Young Farmer Loan enhances FCC’s suite of existing products and services that support young producers, such as the FCC Transition Loan, FCC Ag Knowledge Exchange events, FCC Publications, FCC on Campus, and FCC Management Software for both accounting and field management. In 2013-14, FCC approved almost $2.3 billion in financing to farmers under age 40, representing almost one-third of the $7.7 billion in disbursements last year to help customers expand or start their operations.
For more information on the FCC Young Farmer Loan, visit www.fcc.ca/youngfarmerloan or producers can call the local FCC office at 1-800-387-3232.