New Loan Program for Young Entrepreneurs in Agriculture

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Evalisa McIllfaterick of Root Cellar Gardens uses traditional, organic and ecologically-minded practices in her everyday farming. With her goal of having items available all year round, McIllfaterick knows a thing or two about growing fresh, local produce. You can find Root Cellar Gardens at the Thunder Bay Country Market (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Fresh Market (Wednesdays).

OTTAWA – Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lawrence MacAulay and Farm Credit Canada (FCC) announced a new loan for young entrepreneurs in the agriculture retail, manufacturing and food processing sectors.

The Young Entrepreneur Loan offers financing of up to $1 million per qualified applicant, under age 40, and can be used for the purchase or improvement of agriculture-related assets or the purchase of shares in an agriculture-related business, including those in the agri-food sector. This access to capital will allow these businesses to take advantage of new opportunities, grow the economy and create more middle class jobs.

“The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector needs more young people to get engaged, because they bring the energy and innovative ways of thinking that grow the sector and keep it on the cutting-edge,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to an audience of high school students and industry professionals at the Canada Agriculture Day celebration in Ottawa.

“Through the Young Entrepreneur and Young Farmer Loans, FCC is improving access to capital so that young Canadian farmers and entrepreneurs can start and grow their businesses, and pursue their dreams in this dynamic industry,” MacAulay said.

“From production to food processing and retail, Canada’s agriculture industry needs the ideas, passion and energy of our young people. And as they enter into this dynamic industry, FCC is committed to helping them succeed,” said Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO. “By providing specialized loans for young farmers and entrepreneurs, we are helping the next generation get established and contribute to Canada achieving its full potential as a leading food supplier worldwide.”

The Young Entrepreneur Loan has a 25 per cent minimum down payment requirement, custom variable and five-year fixed rates. Similar to the Young Farmer Loan, which was introduced in 2012 and enhanced last December, there are no processing fees.

In 2015-16, FCC approved more than $2.6 billion in financing to farmers and entrepreneurs under age 40.

The Young Entrepreneur Loan complements FCC’s suite of existing products and services that support young producers, such as the FCC Transition Loan, FCC Ag Knowledge Exchange events, FCC Publications, FCC on Campus, and FCC Management Software for both accounting and field management. For more information on the FCC Young Entrepreneur Loan, visit www.fcc.ca/youngentrepreneurloan or producers can call the local FCC office at 1-800-387-3232.

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