Young Iowa farmers struggle for a leg up
Monday, November 20, 2023
Today is the deadline for small farmers seeking financial assistance to apply for grants from a farm advocacy organization designed to help them get their start.
Practical Farmers of Iowa's Savings Incentive Program also teaches them important financial knowledge.
The SIP is a two-year program offering targeted learning and networking opportunities with guidance from experienced farmer-mentors. It also teaches new farmers how to set goals and create a business plan.
PFI's Senior Farm Viability Manager Kayla Koether said they're making $2,400 available in matching funds to farmers who can save that amount during the two-year program.
"For every dollar that they save, we will match them a dollar from our funds," said Koether. "So, when they buy an asset then, essentially the purchase of the asset is 50% dollars that they've saved and 50% dollars that we're contributing once they've graduated and hit the program milestones."
Today is the last day to apply for the savings-investment program.
Koether said money to buy land is often the biggest stumbling block for up-and-coming farmers who have the knowledge and desire to succeed, but just need a financial leg up.
"It's very hard for beginning farmers to find purchase, to get access to land, to set up sustainable businesses," said Koether. "PFI really wants to support people in our network to make sure that we have the next generation of farmers getting started and being successful in Iowa and beyond. "
So far, Iowa farmers have invested over $500,000 in their new operations with PFI's help. Applications for the program are available online.
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