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Farm Credit Canada adds a half billion dollars to Young Farmer Loan program

Nearly 6,000 loans have been given since the end of 2015

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

In an effort to increase the available support for Canada’s next generation of farmers, Farm Credit Canada committed an additional $500 million to its Young Farmer Loan program.

The program helps qualified producers under 40 years old obtain the necessary finances to buy farmland or buildings. The program launched in March 2012 and as of Dec. 2015, nearly 6,000 loans have been approved with a total value exceeding $1.3 billion.

In a release, Shawn Paget, owner of Riverview Farm Corporation, a potato farm near Hartland, New Brunswick, said the loan program helped his farm plant different varieties of soybeans, corn and cereals.

FCC

According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, farms operated by producers between 18 and 39 years old accounted for about 7.5 per cent of farms in the country in 2010; they earned more from both farm and non-farm sources when compared to older operations.

Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay said in a release that Canada’s long-term agricultural success is in the hands of the younger generation of farmers and FCC’s commitment helps attract young farmers to the profession.

And according to data from the Census of Agriculture, Canada’s agricultural landscape may need an infusion of youth.

  • In 1991, 19.9 per cent of farm operators were under 35 years old, compared to just 8.2 per cent in 2011.
  • According to the 2011 Census of Agriculture, the average age of a Canadian farmer is 54.0 – British Columbia has the highest average age at 55.7 years old.
  • 10.9 per cent of farmers in Quebec are under 35 years old – the highest in Canada.
  • Average gross farm receipts for farms with operators under 35 years old was $204,558.

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