First Pioneer's FarmStart Is Underway

Farm Credit group aims to help Northeast ag entrepreneurs build business.

FarmStart, a first-of-its-kind initiative to help skilled, young entrepreneurs was recently launched by First Pioneer Farm Credit. It targets those in New England, New York and New Jersey who are eager to start up their first formal ag business ventures.

"Farmers with an established business can lease or buy farm land, buildings, machinery, equipment, and livestock through long-term mortgages or secured loans," notes Dave Boone, director of the program. "But without a business track record or credit history, beginning farmers have very few resources for working capital.

"They often operate hand-to-mouth or use credit cards. Neither approach is good business."

FarmStart invests initial working capital to help promising startups establish a positive business and credit history. Candidates must have a detailed business plan that clearly demonstrates their success potential – and repay that investment in full within five years.

Each entrepreneur gets a FarmStart adviser/mentor to help them learn effective cash management and other business skills.

First Pioneer Farm Credit recently conducted a FarmStart certification workshop to certify loan officers to lead a FarmStart program in their branch offices and to mentor candidates.

For more information, log onto the First Pioneer Web site at www.FirstPioneer.com.

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