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Young, Beginning & Small Farmers

Just getting started? Let us be your guide

Getting started in the agriculture industry is difficult. Securing credit when you're just starting out can be even harder. Let us help you with both! Farm Credit of the Virginias has several programs to help young, beginning and small farmers get started and remain successful. 

Who are young, beginning and small farmers?

  • A young farmer is 35 years of age or younger
  • A beginning farmer has 10 or fewer years experience farming
  • A small farmer generates <$250,000 in annual gross agricultural sales
  • A person and/or entity may qualify under one, two or all three criteria

Leverage Knowledge Center resources to make your enterprise a success

Young, beginning and small farmers are welcomed to attend one of our annual Farm Management or Dairy Management Institutes coordinated by the Farm Credit Knowledge Center. As an extension of the Farm Management Institute, attendees are eligible to apply for the Ag Biz Planner program to learn how to best run their farming operation and complete a business plan. In addition to this programming, the Farm Credit Knowledge Center hosts a variety of regional events and has developed educational resources for young, beginning and small farmers.

Explore the Knowledge Center

Kick-start your operations with FarmLaunch

As leaders in agricultural finance, we understand the unique challenges that young and beginning farmers face when starting a new agricultural endeavor. That’s why we developed FarmLaunch, a program to support those who are young operators of 35 years or less, have less than 10 years of farming experience and/or are military veterans or reservists entering the agricultural industry with limited financial resources.

Learn More About FarmLaunch Financing

Working with FSA?

To better serve the needs of young, beginning and small farmers, Farm Credit is a Farm Service Agency (FSA) Preferred Lender. To help manage credit risk, we recommend participation in the FSA or other guarantee programs.

Youth Agricultural Loan Program

Do you know someone involved in 4-H or FFA?

They may be eligible for our Youth Agricultural Loan Program.


"Being a beginning business, it was really important for us to find a lender we felt comfortable inviting in to the dinner table. We found that with Farm Credit."

Jessica Hall, Harmony Harvest Farm (Weyers Cave, VA)