Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loan Program


Additional Links

Fact Sheet


Applications accepted on an ongoing basis


USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)


Offers loans to farmers and ranchers who have been in operation for less than 10 years to help finance activities essential to the success of their farm or ranch, including normal operating costs, purchasing land and capital, accessing new markets, diversifying operations, and other expenses. Loans are made through one of four USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan programs. A portion of all funds from each program are set aside specifically for beginning farmers and ranchers to assist them in establishing prosperous and competitive farms and ranches.

USDA FSA loan programs include:

  • Farm Operating Loans to finance the cost of operations essential to the success of a farm or ranch
  • Farm Ownership Loans to purchase or put a down payment on a new farm or ranch; expand an existing farm or ranch; or build, purchase, or improve farm dwellings, service buildings, or other facilities; and more
  • Guaranteed Farm Loans that help farmers obtain commercial loans at reasonable terms from USDA-approved private lenders
  • Microloan Programs that provide financing for non-traditional farm operations, including truck farms, hydroponic, aquaponic, vertical, and organic producers, as well as direct marketing and sales through farmer's markets, community-supported agriculture, restaurants, and grocery stores

Amount of Funding

Loan amounts, interest rates, and terms vary based on the USDA FSA program through which an applicant is seeking a loan. Specific information regarding loan amounts, rates, and terms can be found on the appropriate USDA FSA program webpages.

Who Can Apply

In order to be eligible as a beginning farmer, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years
  • Own a farm or ranch that is not larger than 30% of the average size farm in their county, as determined by the most current Census for Agriculture at the time the loan application is submitted
  • Meet the eligibility requirements of the USDA FSA program to which they are applying
  • Participate substantially in the operation of the farm or ranch

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment • Operating Costs and Staffing • Starting a Business

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information can be found on the corresponding webpage for each eligible USDA FSA program that offers targeted loan funding for beginning farmers and ranchers.


For program questions:
Contact the appropriate USDA Farm Service Agency state office

Topics This Program Addresses

Economic Development