Young, Beginning & Small Farmers

Specialized Loan Programs and Resources

Farming can be a capital-intense business and with land prices increasing and commodity prices decreasing it may appear impossible for individuals to enter into farming. However,  if we are to continue to have access to a safe and affordable food supply, we must have resources available to encourage the next generation of beginning farmers.


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 agriculture


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


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.


Young, Beginning and Small Farmer Programs

GreenStone Farm Credit Services supports young, beginning and small farmers through a variety of products and services. 

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