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Any suggestions for a newcomer?

After the housing market bubble burst, my husband found himself unable to find a job as a carpenter.  After a year, he decided that returning home to the farm is where he should be.  We picked up "patches" as I call them and planted our first crop this spring-400 acres of cotton and 100 acres of corn.  We survived the first year and made a little money .  This fall, we picked up about another 350 acres for next year.  Now we've hit a wall-a financing wall.  The FSA beginning farm loan just isn't enough to cover our expenses on the increased acreage and our equipment needs and no one around here wants to give us a shot since we are still small compared to most farmers where we live.  We "made do" on equipment last year basically using really old stuff and borrowing some things from his father.  Now we need to upgrade-mainly on the corn/beans side.  No wants to help us though.  Anybody out there been in this spot and have any suggestions???

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3 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Any suggestions for a newcomer?

Since we worked off-farm and supplied our living expenses and benefits that way, we never had trouble getting financing when we asked for it.  Then, too, those were different times. 


I think failure to find traditional financing may make you eligible for FmHA guarantees...which means that the USDA backs 90 % of your loan.  The same FSA folks who helped you with the beginning farmer loan can discuss this type of lending relationship with you. 


Contact your county FSA and ask for an appointment.  Ask them what information you need to bring along. 


Also, there is more than one way to skin a cat.  If you cannot swing a machine purchase, sometimes you can lease one, or hire the work custom done. 


Good luck.  The gang on the Farm Business board, under the Business tab on this site, may be able to help you, so maybe you could copy your post over there, too. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Any suggestions for a newcomer?

Don't know why I didn't see this until today.   So I'll make suggestions.    Hope you are still coming back to check.   Welcome. 

#1.   Can anyone  cosign a loan?

#2.  A CARPENTER!!!   Do you have any idea how long we have to wait to get one to even come and look at a job?   Do all the neighbors know he is a carpenter?   Offer to help with odd jobs on neighbor's farms.   In return you might find out that they would trade equipment or labor for his skills.    Maybe someone has an older planter  that they'd give to you if you'd haul it away.

#3.  What skills/talents do you have?   Can you do some private child care?   Do you have a garden?   (Notice I do not have one). I ran the farrowing and nursery hog operation for 33 years.   So I knew how to get dirty.   I always said if I save one pig, because I was in the farrowing house rather than in the garden,    I could buy all the Green Giant petite baby peas I wanted for the year. 

#4.  Cut expenses.   No cable,  no direct TV,  no texting,  no sending pictures.   Use the local library.   Ours is a county library and is free.  Lots of books with lots of suggestions.  

#5.  Obviously,  you are from the South.  In the midwest  it is next to impossible for a beginner to rent anything.   Heck,  those of us with 40 years of experience and a full line of equipment have trouble renting land.  

#6.  Talk to FSA   again.   Check to see if there are loans for special circumstances.    Could you be in charge and qualify as a minority,  ie  a woman?  

#7.  Not alot of help without financing.   But,  could you clear some more of your land for more crop acreage?  

#8.  Go to auctions.  Older  equipment that would work for your size operation sell for a song in the land of the BTOs. 


Re: Any suggestions for a newcomer?

Thanks ladies for the posts. I think we've found a way to stay under the FSA limit so we can get a loan through them.  We've decided to plant some conventional varieties.  That cuts our seed costs $100/acre.    It will take a closer eye on our cotton but at least we'll get to plant cotton.  You are correct we are from the South.  I work a full-time job as tax accountant in Nashville. I drive two hours one way just to get to work.  Hours are rough .  Half the year I am working 50-60 hours plus and now helping him with the farm too--I'm exhausted all the time.  I normally plant a garden and can my produce.  You just can't better home grown anything.   I was told by two bankers that since his daddy wasn't a BIG farmer they wouldn't help us no matter how great our credit was.  It was just too much risk for them.  Anyway, I think with a little help from the Lord we should be able to pull it off.  May not be the shinest of equipment but at least it will work (at least at the moment).  Best wishes!

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