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FARMLAND HELP: Delaware farmers between 18 and 40 years old can apply for loans to purchase farmland in the state. Land purchased through the program is permanently preserved through the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation.

Delaware offers more flexibility for young farmer loans

The program provides up to 70% of the funding for young farmers to purchase land.

The Delaware Aglands Foundation Board has announced that they will institute a rolling application process for their Young Farmer Loan Program to offer young farmers more flexibility in acquiring a farm.

Farmers between 18 and 40 years old can apply for the Young Farmers Loan Program. The program provides long-term, no-interest loans to help eligible farmers purchase land, reducing the financial burden on farmers just starting out or looking to expand.

“In the past we asked that applicants apply by a specified date in the fall, but we realized this was restricting their opportunities to find the perfect farm when it came on the market,” says Austin Short, Delaware’s deputy secretary of agriculture. “This new rolling application system will allow a young farmer to apply when they secure the contract on the farm and have their application reviewed when they absolutely need it. The application window will close once the funding is fully utilized for that fiscal year.”

Experience counts

Applicants must have at least three years of farming experience and their net worth must not exceed $300,000. Eligible farms must have at least 15 acres of cropland and must not be enrolled in a conservation easement at the time of purchase.

The 30-year, no-interest loans may fund up to 70% of the value of a property’s development rights, defined as the difference between full-market value and agricultural value, up to a maximum of $500,000.

Delaware’s Young Farmers Loan Program began in 2011 to help lower barriers to young people wanting to get started in farming. Thirty-five farmers have purchased land so far in all three counties, totaling 2,700 acres of farmland using $8 million in loans. This includes both individual farmers and couples, all seeking to purchase new land or expand their existing farms.

Land purchased through the program is permanently preserved through the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation.

Interested applicants can visit the Department of Agriculture’s website at agriculture.delaware.gov for an information and application packet, or can contact Short at either 302-698-4500 or austin.short@delaware.gov.

Source: Delaware Department of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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