Young, Beginning & Small Farmer Loans

Features & Benefits

As lenders to rural America and production agriculture, we understand the challenges individuals face when starting their own farm or taking on ownership of a multi-generational farm and as such, we work to provide the educational and financial resources needed to help establish a solid foundation for new and young farmers.

Helping new farmers, and small-scale farmers obtain and maintain the resources they need is a top priority of the Farm Credit System and GreenStone. Through our relaxed underwriting standards and understanding of specialized Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs, we can often provide financing in unique and individualized situations. Our expertise in agricultural financing allows us to better understand your business cycles and the details in your business as we provide loans for young farmers. 


  • A young farmer is one who is 35 years of age or younger
  • A beginning farmer is one who has 10 or fewer years of experience
  • A small farmer is one who generates less than $250,000 in annual gross sales from production
  • located in Michigan and northeast Wisconsin

YBSF Customer Characteristics:

  • Farm background or experience
  • Potential in management ability
  • A plan for long-term personal and financial goals
  • Knowledge of the enterprise to be financed as well as the inherent risks involved
  • Ability to maintain an adequate farm record system


  • Relaxed underwriting requirements and loan terms
  • Collaboration with FSA guaranteed loan programs
  • Flexible repayment options
  • Zero down payment options
  • Eligible for patronage

Support Beyond Financing

Our commitment to the next generation of farmers extends beyond providing financial products and services to educational opportunities and involvement in youth organizations. 

  • Awarding up to $40,000 in scholarships annually to incoming college students planning to major in an agricultural field of study.
  • Providing financial contributions and volunteer efforts in support of communities, and organizations; such as young farmer programs, FFA and 4-H.


Grow Forward Grant Program

Helps offset the cost of educational programs and business services for young, beginning and small farmers

Farm Forward Mentorship Program

Designed to share in-depth knowledge with agriculture's next generation through mentor/mentee pairings

Patronage Program

A portion of our annual earnings are returned to our eligible member-owners in the form of patronage.


  • How are the underwriting requirements different?
    GreenStone serves the unique needs of young, beginning and small farmers through specialized lending programs that extend credit in a safe and sound manner.  Depending on the varying programs utilized in partnership with FSA our underwriting standards are relaxed to a level of Owner Equity and Loan to Value that accommodates someone who is just starting out.
  • How do I apply for FSA guaranteed loans?
    Young, beginning and small farmers can initiate the conversation about FSA programs by visiting one of our local branches or an FSA office. GreenStone can identify customers who may benefit from an FSA program, and make recommendations and initiate the introduction, even for customers seeking direct financing from FSA. Conversely, if a customer reaches out to FSA initially for one of the programs on which we partner, FSA will reach out to an ag lender. We will then discuss the farmer’s needs and how to best structure the financing. Moving forward, it is the customers’ choice whether the lender acts as their single point of contact, or they continue to work with both the lender and FSA with the two organizations working side-by-side. 
  • How long does the loan process take?
    We strive to have very competitive turn-around times that meet our customers’ needs while providing the very best options.  The loan process turn times do vary based on the scope and complexity of the operation and type of loan program that best fits our customers’ needs. 
  • What is flexible repayment?
    GreenStone is committed to meeting the needs of our customers and we work hard to match your payment options to the cash flow of the operation.