Posted on 03/10/2016, 9:00 am, by mySteinbach

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is adding $500 million to its ongoing commitment to a loan program aimed at helping young farmers become established in the industry.

Launched in March 2012, FCC’s commitment to the Young Farmer Loan has grown to $2 billion over four years, with almost 6,000 loans worth more than $1.3 billion approved, as of Dec. 31, 2015.

“FCC is proud to support the next generation of farmers through every stage of their career,” FCC President and CEO Michael Hoffort said. “Products like the Young Farmer Loan can make a real difference for producers looking to enter the industry or grow their business.”

The Young Farmer Loan provides qualified producers, under age 40, with loans of up to $500,000 to purchase or improve farmland and buildings. The loan includes variable lending rates at prime plus 0.5 per cent, a special fixed rate if producers choose that avenue of repayment and no loan processing fees.

Shawn Paget, owner of Riverview Farm Corporation, used a Young Farmer Loan three years ago to acquire more land for his Hartland, New Brunswick-area potato farm.

“FCC’s Young Farmer Loan was exactly what we needed to expand our operations in order to grow a wider variety of cash crops, such as soybeans, corn and cereals,” Paget said. “Access to flexible financing is very important when you are starting out or trying to become more established in the industry. It’s more than a loan – it’s an investment in the future of farming.”

Enabling young producers to borrow with no fees at affordable interest rates helps them develop a solid credit history and build their business.

“The long-term success of Canadian agriculture relies heavily on our ability to attract and retain young, innovative people to the business of agriculture,” said Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “By helping the next generation become established in this vital industry, FCC is fulfilling an important part of its mandate and a key commitment of this government.”