Arkansas Beginning Farmer Gets Financing to Get Started

This example of resources available to beginning farmers comes to us from Nicole Gurley, Farm Loan Officer, Washington County, Arkansas. There are links throughout the article that provide more information on the programs available to farmers, whether beginning or experienced. McKenzie Fanning grew up in Westfork, Arkansas, with the dream of becoming a cattleman. Although the 21-year old wasn’t raised on a farm, he had memories of his grandparent’s farm, including the time when he made a trade with his grandfather: a pig for a heifer, opening his path to the cattle business. He started saving his money from doing chores and after some time he was able to purchase another heifer. At just 15, Fanning came to the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and was able to obtain a loan which he used to purchase three cow/calf pairs that he kept on his grandfather’s land. “FSA has 100 percent allowed me to start my dream,” Fanning said. “I want to run my cattle operation like a business.” FSA youth loans are available to individuals between the ages of 10 and 21 to start and operate income-producing projects in connection with their participation in 4-H, the National FFA Organization, a tribal youth group, or oth

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