Capital Farm Credit offers loan programs for agriculture’s youth

Everyone has to start somewhere and the same goes for 4-H and FFA members when purchasing show animals or young farmers and ranchers investing in equipment. Capital Farm Credit, the largest agricultural lending cooperative in Texas, offers three loan programs to support the next generation of agriculturists with financial assistance and other business advice.

Allyson Toeljker, vice president and director of young, beginning and small lending at Capital Farm Credit, said the company is always looking to help agriculture’s youth and set young farmers and ranchers up for successful careers.

“I think 4-H and FFA are critical and they offer so many beneficial things to students that they won’t learn in the classroom and they are unique because they develop life skills that can be used in our everyday lives, like overcoming adversity, responsibility, leadership and the lessons that come with winning and losing,” Toeljker said. “And it is absolutely our mission to provide capital to those folks that are going to be full-time farmers or ranchers or have an agribusiness.”

She said the most relevant program for students is the AgStart program. It is formatted for 4-H and FFA youth that have market or breeding livestock projects.

“We feel like this is going to be a great opportunity for youth and parents that want to participate in livestock projects, but with the resources that are needed, it’s becoming increasingly hard to front those costs in the beginning,” Toeljker said. “Hopefully this loan program allows more youth the opportunity to participate. Additionally, there is a feeder-stocker operation loan for those youth wanting to get involved in that side of the industry.”

She said Capital Farm Credit has two other programs that are directed toward young people who have managed a farming operation for 10 years or less. One program is the NextGen Loan Program.

“That program is focused on the farmer or rancher that is looking to maybe inherit or take over an operation that already exists,” Toeljker said. “Maybe they’ve got a business mentor who can help guide them along the way, but they might not have the financial resources available to them.”

The other program is brand new and was just launched internally within Capital Farm Credit a few weeks ago. It is called the AgVista Loan Program.

“It’s a smaller loan program and we don’t loan quite as much because the intent is that we’re helping to serve those that are just beginning their journey in owning or operating an ag business,” she said. “These applicants might need some help in forming a business plan and it’s geared toward new customers or non-traditional agriculture audiences.”

Toeljker said Capital Farm Credit is excited about the AgVista program and getting it off the ground.

“We’re being very intentional about how we support the next generation of agriculture here at Capital Farm Credit,” she explained. “Agriculture is changing and evolving. There are so many points of entry and I think it is critical that youth understand the career and job opportunities in addition to traditional farming and ranching. There are lots of places where students can come in and have a successful career and truly make a difference as we advance agriculture.”

Visit or visit a local farm credit office to learn more about these loan programs.

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].