Looking for Resources For Agri-entertainment and PYO Farms: Liability Issues in 2020? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.
Are you interested in starting a PYO operation and trying to find funding? This pageThis is adapted from an Ohio State University Fact Sheet: "Liability for Visitors to Farm Property". Obviously, the regulations and laws vary from state to state, so you must speak with a lawyer to understand what applies where you are located. There's a book on this subject, titled: "The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing©" By Neil D. Hamilton, available from Drake University Agricultural Law Center. I haven't read the book, but you can find out more about it here.
NOTE: Do you have any suggestions who to contact for PYO Liability Insurance? A farmer has written, saying he wants to start a PYO but cannot find a company that will write a policy. If you have any suggestions, please write me!
Starting your own farm business offers rewards that range from
being your own boss, to working at something you enjoy, to earning income for
yourself. A successful farm operation requires careful planning and
decision-making, and most importantly, a sound business plan to guide you
through the initial start-up years. This guide contains information about issues
to consider before starting a farming operation with links to full-text guides
on how to start a farm business, and develop business and marketing plans. It
also contains information about funding sources for beginning farmers, training,
technical assistance contacts, organizations with resources and programs for
beginning and experienced farmers, and more.
You may also consult a related Rural Information Center resource, Starting a Small Business
Start your financial assistance search with your state Department of Agriculture to see if your state has a Beginning Farmer Loan Program. The Federal government provides tax-exempt status for Beginning Farmer Loan Programs or "Aggie Bonds" that allow states to assist beginning, first-time farmers purchase land, equipment, buildings and livestock with reduced interest rate loans. The state creates the bond that in turn, allows lenders to earn federally-tax exempt interest income on loans to eligible beginning farmers and ranchers. The tax-savings allows the lenders to provide the loans at a reduced interest rate for first time farmers. Aggie Bond programs are federal-state, public-private partnership programs that provide a cost effective way for states to assist beginning farmers.
Information on Small Farms and Farm Financial Management can be located on the USDA's Economic Research Service web site.
Farm Banks: The nation's more than 2,500 farm banks (defined by the Federal Reserve Board as banks that have above average proportions of farm real estate and production loans in their loan portfolios -- around 14 percent and higher) offer a variety of loans to small and large farms and agribusiness firms; they also handle many of the loans made under USDA's guaranteed farm loan programs. Farm banks may provide short-term operating loans, less than a year in duration, for annual expenses such as seed and fertilizer; intermediate-term loans, usually two to five years, for capital expenses such as livestock and equipment; and, long-term loans, lasting ten years or more, for real estate or major structures and construction.
Farm Credit System (FCS): The FCS is a network of slightly more than 100 federally chartered borrower-owned lending institutions and related service organizations that specialize in providing credit and related services to farmers (also young and beginning), ranchers, and producers or harvesters of aquatic products. The FCS's provides credit and lease financing for full-time and two-career farmers. In addition to offering the same category of loans as farm banks, FCS institutions also offer revolving credit lines that are popular financing tools tailored to specific borrowing situations with repayment tied to cash flows. Additional information about the FCS is available from the Farm Credit Administration at http://www.fca.gov/FCS-Institutions.htm
Farm Service Agency (FSA): The FSA
provides a variety of farm loan programs, including raditional
operating loans, beginning farmer and youth programs.
FSA also includes a mediation program for agricultural disputes.
FSA offers direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender. Borrowers include beginning farmers who do not qualify for conventional loans because they have insufficient financial resources, as well as established farmers who have suffered financial setbacks from natural disasters, or whose resources are too limited to maintain profitable farming operations. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed, and supplies; they can also be used for building construction and improvements.
FSA guaranteed loans provide conventional agricultural lenders with up to a 95 percent guarantee of the principal loan amount. The lender is responsible for servicing a borrower's account, including the collection of payments, for the life of the loan. All loans must meet certain qualifying criteria to be eligible for guarantees.. Farmers interested in these loans must apply to a conventional lender, which then arranges for the FSA guarantee.
Addtional U.S. EPA Agriculture Programs
ABA Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking
Washington, DC: American Bankers Association.
Acreage and Small Farm Insight
Lincoln: University of Nebraska.
ATTRA, National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
Begin Farming Ohio
Columbus, OH: Public-Private Collaborative
East Lansing: Michigan State University.
Center for Farm Financial Management
St. Paul: University of Minnesota.
Farm Credit System Foundation
Growing Small Farms
Pittsboro: North Carolina Cooperative Extension.
National Ag Risk Education Library
St. Paul: University of Minnesota.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
New England Small Farm Institute
Links for New Farmers
Manoa: University of Hawaii.
Oregon Small Farms
Corvallis: Oregon State University Extension Service.
Small Farm Center
Davis: University of California
Small Farm Connection
Puyallup: Washington State University.
Women's Agricultural Network
Burlington: University of Vermont.
The purpose of this publication is to provide accurate information on the subject matter. In providing this information, the author does not intend to offer legal or other professional services. The reader should seek the services of a competent attorney if legal advice is necessary.