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Center for Rural Affairs offers those interested in becoming farmers or ranchers some advice

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Options are available to those interested in getting into farming or ranching.

According to the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA), alternative crops and high value markets offer profit potential and lower risk for new farmers.

If an individual prefers land ownership, funding will have to come from savings, bootstrapping, investors/partners or loans but many beginners find financing at the USDA Farm Service Agency, which has the lowest interest rates for beginners, women, veterans and minorities.

According to the CFRA, land ownership isn’t a prerequisite to farming or ranching, however, as renting land actually represents a lower cost than land ownership. Vacant urban lots, unused commercial property, or acreages may be places to start farming.

One beginner located small pasture parcels that larger farmers didn’t want, sub-rented the parcels and then hauled water and used temporary fence to move his cattle herd from place to place. Surrounding landowners notices the man’s hard work and care of the properties and in a few years, offered him full farms to rent.

Resources, such as a discussion of financing strategies, can be found on our website, www.cfra.org.