Starting or Expanding a farm Business? Funding Help for Current and Aspiring Farmers

(NC) Starting and growing a successful business begins with a solid business plan and knowing your financing options. For many farm business owners (especially young or new ones), getting access to financing may be the most challenging aspect of making plans a reality. But financing options are available.

The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program is about supporting farmers in innovation, expansion and profitability. Farmers can use these loans to establish, improve and develop farms by purchasing land, improving buildings, and making other eligible purchases. The loans have no minimum and go up to as much as $500,000, depending on the type of asset being purchased.

“CALA helps farmers access the capital they need to compete and grow in today's agricultural economy. With preferential interest rates and flexible repayment options, CALA loans can be a cost-effective way to finance an expansion or to introduce new innovations on the farm,” explains Mark Drouin, Assistant Director of the Financial Guarantee Programs Division.

The CALA loan guarantee program helps increase the availability of loans to farmers, start-up farmers and agricultural co-operatives. Lenders, such as banks, credit unions and caisses populaires, issue and administer CALA loans.

A beginning farmer — one with less than six years of farming experience — can use the loans to get their operations up and running. They can also access the program with a lower down payment than existing farmers. Beginning farmers require a 10 per cent down payment compared to 20 per cent for existing farmers.

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