University of Vermont

Vermont New Farmer Project Vermont New Farmer Project

Business & Financial Management Toolshed: Capital & Credit

This section of the New Farmer Project website contains links to articles, fact sheets, tools, and other resources related to accessing capital and credit.


Access to Capital chapter of the Resource Guide for Vermont's New and Aspiring Farmers

This chapter provides a primer on considerations when taking on debt to finance a farm operation. You'll also find a brief description of the things lenders look at when evaluating a loan application, and listings for potential funding sources.

Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm

This publication details options and considerations for crafting unconventional financial arrangements that have been used in other sectors of the economy, but might be new to the agricultural sector. You'll f ind information about legal, accounting, environmental and social considerations relevant to pursuing customized financial agreements, and contains examples of farms who have used alternative financing.

Your Guide to FSA Farm Loan Programs

Written for people who need assistance starting, expanding, or owning a farm or ranch, this 70-page guide provides practical information about how to apply for an USDA Farm Service Agency loan or loan guarantee. Additional information about FSA opportunities, including FSA's 2013 microloan program for beginning, niche and small-scale farmers available at the FSA Farm Loan Program website.

Microloans: Cultivating Big Change on a Smaller Scale

This 17-slide presentation provides an overview of the USDA's Microloan program, including eligibility requirements and application guidelines.

*NEW* (March 2014)Farmers' Guide to the Farm Service Agency Microloan Program, from the Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG).

Written to help farmer, especially first-time borrowers and beginning farmers understand this recent addition to the USDA-FSA loan programs. FLAG is now making up-to-the-minute changes to the guide based on the recent Farm Bill. Go to to download the latet edition.

Online Resources

How to Finance a Small Farm,, by Karen Klonsky, Extension Specialist, Univeristy of California, Davis. This article provides a good overview on preparing yourself for seeking financing from a farm lender.



Assessing Loan Readiness (November 2014). Are you a farmer thinking about taking out a loan but hesitant about taking in debt? Sam Smith, Farm Business Specialist at the Intervale Center, and Joshua Jerome, Loan Officer at Community Capital of Vermont discuss ways loans can help grow farm businesses and pitfalls to avoid. View this recording to learn about different optionsfor working capital, how to assess your capacity to repay a loan, and how to prepare to talk with lenders.

Last modified November 13 2014 10:59 PM