AG LOANS FOR BEGINNING FARMERS AND RANCHERS
The NIFA "Beginning" Farmer/Rancher Program assists farmers and ranchers to obtain agricultural loans at interest rates generally lower than those available in the conventional farm credit markets. This is accomplished by the issuance of a bond by NIFA, the interest on which is exempt from federal and Nebraska state income tax. The lender then sets the rate of interest on the farm loan to reflect the tax-exempt rate on the bond.
To be eligible, the farmer/rancher must meet certain program-specified requirements, including limitations relating to net worth and previous land ownership. Loans may be for the purchase of agricultural land, permanent improvements to agricultural land, equipment/machinery, and breeding livestock.
Are you a farmer or rancher in need of financing, or a lender with a customer interested in obtaining a loan for agricultural purposes? Do the following conditions apply?
If so, the loan may qualify for NIFA's Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program. This program has assisted Nebraska farmers and ranchers in obtaining low interest agricultural loans since 1981.
The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, which offers agricultural financing opportunities through its Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program, established an annual awards program in July of 1996. Known as the Governor's Agricultural Excellence Awards, this program recognizes and financially rewards 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters in Nebraska for outstanding performance.
The challenges facing young people today looking at a career in agriculture are formidable. To help prepare for the rigors of these challenges, youth Ag organizations, such as the 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters throughout the state, are constantly looking for ways to motivate young people while at the same time preparing them for a farming or ranching career.
On an annual basis, the NIFA-sponsored 4-H and FFA Governor’s Excellence Awards are presented to the top-rated 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters in the state. The eligible recipients of this excellence award are the approximately 1,900 4-H Clubs containing almost 26,000 members, and over 130 FFA Chapters, which have seen membership grow from 5,000 to over 16,000 members in recent years. The awards range from $500 to $2,500, given in the name of the Club or Chapter. This is to reward those Clubs and Chapters that most actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. They improve their organization's operations by using a program of activities that emphasizes student development, Club/Chapter development, and community development. Clubs/Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership. The Governor’s Agricultural Excellence Award aids in improving the quality of the agricultural education program and helps prepare young people for careers in agriculture.
As club members move toward securing agricultural futures of their own, NIFA offers assistance through its Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program, which enables beginning farmers/ranchers to obtain low-interest loans for the purchase of land, equipment and machinery, and breeding livestock.
For more information on the application and award process, please contact the 4-H or FFA organization main offices.