In just over six months, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has approved over 800 loans worth more than $187 million under the Young Farmer Loan launched in April by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and FCC President and CEO Greg Stewart. The average loan size is $217,000.
This new loan offers qualified producers who are under 40 years of age loans of up to $500,000 to purchase or improve farmland and buildings. The loan includes features and options that address this demographic and support their long-term success, including variable rates at prime plus 0.5%, special fixed rates and no loan processing fees. FCC set aside $500 million for the Young Farmer Loan when it was first announced.
“The future of agriculture matters to the Canadian economy,” said Minister Ritz. “Young people are a key driver of jobs and economic growth. A strong agriculture industry is vital to the long-term prosperity of the country, so it’s positive to see the interest in this new financing option.”
“As Canada’s leading agriculture lender, we continue to listen to our customers,” said FCC President and CEO Greg Stewart. “We proactively develop products and services tailored to the unique needs of agriculture. I’m pleased with the level of interest in this loan.”
Producers under 40 are using the Young Farmer Loan to grow their business, which is good for the industry. For example, customers have used the loan to purchase farms, expand their businesses or make land improvements.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census of Agriculture, 8.2% of farm operators are under 35.