New to farming? Here are 3 resources you might not know about

by | Feb 12, 2024 | Finance and Business, Food and Recipes

Canada has a long history of farming, and many farms have been in the same family for generations. Others are trying their hand at farming for the first time, whether they are newcomers or long-time residents interested in a hands-on career in tune with the environment. Whether you’re a new farmer or come from a long line of farmers, here are three programs designed to help you manage the risks and finances of running a farm.

Training and incentives
Whether you are new to farming or established in the field, it might be worth considering an alternative to private loans, such as the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program – known as the CALA Program. This program can help those looking to establish, improve or expand their farming business with lower interest rates and down payments, as well as flexible repayment options and incentives.

You may qualify for up to $500,000, with the federal government guaranteeing 95 per cent of the loan, which means access to better interest rates and lower minimum equity.

Cash advances
Any business owner knows that managing cash flow can be a challenge. It is particularly difficult when the product you are selling can take weeks, months or even years to be ready for market. To help farmers get by while their crops or livestock are growing, the federal government developed the Advance Payments Program.

Under this program, farmers can access up to $1 million in advanced funds based on the value of the eligible agricultural products they will produce or have in storage, with the Government of Canada paying the interest on the first $100,000. Applications for 2024 will open on April 1, 2024. Depending on what is being produced, farmers will have 18 to 24 months to fully repay their advance.

Debt management
Sometimes things do not work out how we want them to. If you are struggling to manage your debt, you can apply to the voluntary, confidential Farm Debt Mediation Service to receive credit counselling and to have a meeting arranged with your creditor(s) to develop a recovery plan.

Learn more about these and other financial resources at agriculture.canada.ca/manage-farm-risk-and-finance

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