Nebraska's economy was founded by farmers and ranchers. NebraskaBeginningFarmer.org provides easy access to a number of entities which offer financial resources to individuals interested in agricultural production. These resources assist those desiring to pursue agricultural opportunities as well as those desiring to maintain/improve their viability in the industry. Click on the links below to learn more about these programs.
Helping young farmers and ranchers stay in your community.
The Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency is a customer-focused agency dedicated to achieving a sound future for Nebraska agriculture. There are FSA service centers located across the state of Nebraska, where dedicated staff are committed to providing quality customer service to beginning farmers and ranchers and ensuring their full access to all FSA programs and services. The ultimate benefit will be improved economic viability for family farmers and ranchers and the Nebraska economy as a whole.
FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership (FO) and operating loans (OL) to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed and supplies. FSA loans also can be used to construct buildings or make farm improvements. FSA loans are often provided to beginning farmers who cannot qualify for conventional loans because they have insufficient financial resources.
FSA also implements a number of safety net and disaster programs, as authorized by the farm bill, that can be important to beginning farm and ranch operations.
Click here: www.fsa.usda.gov to learn more about the variety of FSA programs or take time to contact or visit your local FSA office. To find a USDA Service Center nearest you, go to http://offices.usda.gov.
Farm Credit Services of America is a leading provider of loan, lease and risk management products, each customized to the unique needs of your growing business. We back these products and services with industry-leading tools to help with financial management and decision-making in your operation. And with our broad network of lending teams, your financing comes with expert advice and personal service.
Young & Beginning Loans: Growing your farm is a significant financial commitment and can be especially challenging for less-established producers. That's why we've tailored a program for producers age 35 or younger, or with 10 years of experience or less, that matches our loan products with modified credit approval standards. This program helps get you the capital you need while you strengthen your financial position.
Development Fund: This program assists young and beginning producers who have a plan to start, grow or remain in agriculture by providing them with needed working capital loans and business planning assistance.
Learn more about our customer-owned lending cooperative at www.FCSAmerica.com or call 800-884-FARM.
The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority provides Nebraskans a broad range of financial resources, including its Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program for purchase of agricultural land, equipment/machinery, or breeding livestock. Working with banks, private seller-lenders (land contracts) or private investor lenders, the Program facilitates loans of up to $534,600 to be used in agricultural production for "beginning" farmers/ranchers who have not already owned substantial farm land and with a net worth not exceeding $500,000. The loans are below market rate due to NIFA making the interest income tax-exempt (both State and Federally) for the beginning farmer/rancher's lender.
Recognizing the importance the agricultural industry continues to play in the state, the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program brings together the shared strengths and resources of existing and beginning farmers. The Program offers a refundable tax credit to existing farmer/livestock producers who agree to rent to beginning farmers. Beginning farmers/ranchers also receive tax benefits.
Click here: www.nextgen.nebraska.gov or call 402-471-4876.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is seeking grant proposals from organizations or groups of individuals interested in enhancing the competitiveness of the state's specialty crop industry. NDA will administer a two-phase competitive grant application process. Phase I will involve the submission of concept proposals, which will allow applicants to explain the main points of their project. The concept proposals will be competitively scored. Projects with the highest combined scores will serve as recommendations to the Director of Agriculture as to which applicants should be invited to complete the Phase II of the application process. Socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or ranchers are eligible to apply. Concept proposals are due to NDA by January 31, 2020. Grant proposal guidelines and application information are available on NDA's website at https://nda.nebraska.gov/promotion/scbgp/index.html.
The Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act, administered by the Nebraska Department of Revenue, will provide a refundable tax credit. In addition, the credits can be used against sales and use taxes or income tax liability for taxpayers engaged in livestock production who invest in at least $50,000 for livestock modernization or expansion. The amount of the tax credit for livestock production will be 10% of the investment, not to exceed $150,000.
IANR is a provider of educational, research and outreach programs related to food, agriculture and agribusiness systems, natural resources and human resources. IANR is dedicated to providing the highest quality programs that are ecologically sound, economically viable, socially responsible and scientifically appropriate.
The University of Nebraska - Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, located in Curtis, Nebraska, is dedicated to the agriculture industry with degree programs and certificates in agribusiness management, agriculture production, agriculture education, equine management, horticulture, irrigation technology, agriculture equipment and veterinary technology. NCTA teaches entrepreneurship across its entire curriculum in an effort to encourage graduates to be the next generation farm, ranch, and business owners and managers. Ownership programs include the 100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage, 100 Acre Farm, and Heifer Link programs. In addition, Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots helps veterans return home to rural communities as partner/employees and eventual owners of farms, ranches and businesses.
The core of NCTA's ownership programs is the development of business plans, partnership agreements and low interest USDA loan applications. It is critical that graduates understand entrepreneurship principles and the "art" of ownership to become an owner of an agricultural or business enterprise. With 70% of the nation's agricultural land changing hands during the next 20 years, great opportunities exist for those prepared with a technical agriculture education and who are willing to work hard and smart.
Click here: www.ncta.unl.edu or call 1-800-3CURTIS.
Nebraska 4-H is the largest youth organization in the state, serving more than 140,000 youth from all 93 counties. 4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension-a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Youth engage in hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship.
The Nebraska FFA Association is a state and national youth organization made up of students (Grades 7-12) from across the state and nation. It contains of over 7,000 members dedicated to agricultural education and youth leadership.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services offers free technical assistance for soil, water and wildlife conservation and management practices on agricultural land. Beginning farmers/ranchers can receive up to 90 percent cost-share assistance with up to 30 percent in advance payment for planned practices in conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and others. NRCS desires to build and/or maintain a strong conservation ethic within our beginning farmers/ranchers. Details are available at local NRCS offices in USDA Service Centers where NRCS employees will provide free technical assistance and help you determine if you are eligible for a higher cost-share rate to implement conservation practices.
The Farm and Ranch Program of Legal Aid of Nebraska works in collaboration with the Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska (IMN), the Nebraska Department of Agriculture's Farm Mediation Service and Beginning Farmer Program (NDA) and other partners to provide a range of services to Nebraska farm and ranch families, including:
Through this array of services, Legal Aid and its partners work with farm and ranch families in estate and transition planning, business organization, beginning farmer support programs, FSA loan and price support programs, cash flow analysis and preparation, debt structuring, financial distress transactions, agricultural security interests, real property and contract issues, water regulation and rights, and retirement, long-term care, consumer protection and elder law matters.
Click here: www.legalaidofnebraska.com or call the Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.
Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization based in Lyons, Nebraska, works to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches and rural communities. The CFRA website provides advice for beginners, introductions to farm transition and estate planning for retiring farmers, and links to resources for financing, work-in examples, high-value markets, and production information. CFRA staff advises new farmers, including women, military veterans and Latinos, on strategies to gain access to land, financing and the knowledge and skills needed to make a successful start. CFRA also works extensively with organizations and individuals on Farm Bill development and use of those programs. CFRA's business program (REAP) provides advice and loans to small businesses in rural Nebraska, such as value-added agricultural enterprises and Main Street businesses.
Visit www.cfra.org or call the Farm Bill HelpLine at 402-687-2100
The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society is a member-based, grassroots, non-profit, farmer led organization dedicated to sustainable farming and foods in Nebraska. NSAS was founded in the 1970's by a group of organic farmers. Throughout the years NSAS has been promoting agriculture & food systems that build healthy land, people, communities & quality of life for present & future generations. NSAS has provided numerous resources, educational and networking opportunities for farmers across Nebraska. One resource is the NSAS listserv, which is available as a resource and online learning platform and includes weekly events and opportunities for farmers. Another resource is a database of resources located on the NSAS website, which includes past lectures, workshops, webinars and other resources for farmers interested in sustainable and organic agriculture.
The Farm Beginnings® Nebraska educational training and support program, designed to help people who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise, is sponsored by NSAS and its partners University of Nebraska, Land Stewardship Project and Center for Rural Affairs. Farm Beginnings® Nebraska participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers while attending practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences. The program is unique in that several successful farmers participate in the program as presenters, explaining firsthand the nuts and bolts of their farming operation, including alternative marketing avenues. Most of the farmer-presenters come from small to medium sized farming operations that produce and market many different diversified and value-added products. While any beginning farmer would benefit from attending these training sessions, many participants want to emphasize sustainable agriculture and organic agriculture principles on their farms.
Click here: www.nebsusag.org
The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots organization founded in 1917. It is Nebraska's largest voluntary agricultural organization and represents more than 60,000 member families in all 93 Nebraska counties. The farmers and ranchers who belong to Farm Bureau raise various livestock and grow a variety of crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, beans and sugar beets. Farm Bureau's goals are to bring farmers and ranchers together to discuss challenges, identify solutions and to advocate on issues they've determined are critical to keeping current and future generations on the land.
Click here: www.nefb.org for more information.
Founded in 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union is a grassroots-driven, general farm organization that is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the quality of life and economic well-being of family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities.