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Delaware Department of
Agriculture

Young Farmers Program



Established in 2011, the Young Farmer Loan Program offers a 30-year, no interest loan to help young farmers purchase farmland, one of the chief obstacles to starting out in business. The loan is for up to 70 percent of the appraised value of the farm’s development rights, not to exceed $500,000. Farms in the program are placed into a permanent preservation easement. To date, 32 young farmers have received $7.3 million in loans to purchase 2,600 acres of land.

  • Delaware citizen between the ages of 18 to 40
  • Net worth not exceeding $300,000
  • At least 3 years of farming experience
  • Joint applications (spouses, siblings, etc.) are allowed; however, all applicants must meet the criteria and their combined net worth cannot exceed $300,000
  • Farm located in Delaware that contains at least 15 acres of cropland
  • Must not be enrolled in a conservation easement at the time of purchase
  • Applicant must not already own more than twice the amount of tillable acres that he/she wishes to purchase with this farm.
  • Aglands Foundation Board only accepts loan applications when funding is available
  • At time of application, the applicant submits the following:
    • Fully executed sales contract
    • Loan eligibility letter from commercial lender
    • Farm (business) plan
  • The Young Farmer loan typically provides approximately 50 percent of the purchase price. Most applicants need another (commercial) loan to purchase the farm; however, applicants may submit a pre-qualification application at any time, but this does not guarantee funding.
  • The primary lender can verify the applicant is credit worthy through their usual loan process – thus the Department of Agriculture staff does not have to analyze credit risk.
  • The applicant’s commercial loan is their primary loan. The Young Farmer pays that loan first and then pays the Young Farmer Program loan (at no interest). For example, if an applicant has a 20-year payback for their primary loan, he/she then has 10 years (30 years – 20 years) to pay their Young Farmer Program loan.
  • A few of the Young Farmer Program loans have been sales within a family (grandparent to grandchild, etc.) at reduced prices. In these cases the Young Farm Program loan has provided all of the funding needed for the purchase and thus the applicant begins paying their Young Farmer Program loan immediately.

Interested individuals may submit a pre-qualification application at any time. For more information, including pre-qualification and loan applications please contact us. You may also access the program information & application link below:

 

Young Farmer Loans (by Round)

 

For more information on this program or to submit applications, please contact:
Austin Short, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

Delaware Department of Agriculture
(800) 282-8685 (in Delaware)
(302) 698-4500

 


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