FSA makes loans to individual rural youths to establish and operate income-producing projects of modest size in connection with their participation in 4-H clubs, Future Farmers of America, and similar organizations.
Each project must be part of an organized and supervised program of work. The project must be planned and operated with the help of the organization adviser, produce sufficient income to repay the loan, and provide the youth with practical business and educational experience.
Youth Farmer Success Stories:
Using a Farm Service Agency youth loan funded by the ARRA
Bloomfield, Neb. - Last spring, Karly Jensen bought four cows using a Farm Service Agency youth loan for $5,000. Her loan was funded in March of 2009, by funds made available through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Over the spring and summer she has been hard at work feeding calves and doing other work around the farm. By doing chores and raising cattle that will some day go to market, Karly is able to earn back the money she needs to pay back the loan and hopefully save a little bit as well.
Karly has always helped her dad on the farm, but there's something special about actually owning some of her own cattle. "When I go outside during calving time and they're getting ready to calf, I get excited to have my own cow and calf," she said. View the rest of Karly's story here.
ARRA Youth Farm Loan Encourages Young Sisters
New Ulm, Minn. - Solid determination, a strong work ethic and pride in a job well done are just a few of the things sisters Jazmyne and Chantel Miller will have gained this summer due in part to USDA's Farm Service Agency youth loan program, when they head back for their senior year of high school.
The 17-year-old twins have been raising and showing sheep since the age of three. Most recently, each of them used a $1,200 FSA youth loan to purchase four lambs, which they raised and are now showing at fairs and sheep shows. Their loans were funded in March of this year by funds made available through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
A typical day has the sisters up at the crack of dawn, feeding the sheep for the first of what will be four times that day. View more of this story here.
ARRA Youth Loan Encourages Young Entrepreneur
"I love animals and I love raising them," she said. "I have been helping my parents with their cows for as long as I can remember and they are fun and fascinating to me."
Katie was approved for her Rural Youth Loan with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Katie applied for and was approved for $2700 to purchase two cow and calf pairs. This was her second Rural Youth Loan, the first totaled $4500, which she used to purchase three cow and calf pairs, and feed. Having successfully made on-time payments, she was eligible for this second loan amount. Read more of Katie's story here.
16-Year-Old Used ARRA Funds to Expand Cattle Business of Backgrounding
Maysville, Mo. - While some kids are unsure of what they want to do when they grow up and only work on the farm out of requirement, Michael Strong immediately began applying for Rural Youth Loans through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) as soon as he was old enough. Motivated to continue in the business of backgrounding cattle with his father, Lance, Michael has successfully used three youth loans to generate a college savings account.
"I have been helping my dad with backgrounding cattle for as long as I can remember," said Michael. "I really enjoy it and hope to continue in this business during and after college."
Michael applied for this $5,000 Rural Youth Loan to help him purchase 30 calves, along with his own personal savings, and was told that it could take a few months to be approved. This was expedited with the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), allowing him to quickly make his purchase and begin backgrounding cattle. Read more about Michael's story here.
For more information please visit your local USDA Service Center or see the Farm Loan Section of the FSA Web site.