Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

FSA Youth Loans

Ag-Related Loans Help Youth Operate Income-Producing Projects

For the past seven years, 17-year-old Emily Miller has taken advantage of a unique government program that enables her to take out an ag-related loan and operate her own income-producing project.

The FSA Youth Loan program is available for kids ages 10-20 in all areas, including Kimball and Banner counties.

Emily, from Sidney, is just what the Farm Service Agency Youth Loan program was looking for when the program was designed. Through the program, she said she has "learned how to manage money better, spend more efficiently, and use the money to pick animals and get the most back."

4-H and the FSA program have provided Emily with maturity and financial skills. Emily will graduate from Sidney High School this spring and further her education in agriculture at Connor State College in Warner, Oklahoma. Emily plans on studying animal nutrition.

Every year of the last seven, at the Cheyenne County Livestock Sale, Emily has been able to sell one of each one of the species. To her credit and experience, Emily has had at least one reserve champion in the market division yearly. Awards in showmanship have followed Emily throughout her years in showing all the species at the Cheyenne County Fair.

The Farm Service Agency's Youth Loan program is open to youth ages 10-20. The youth can borrow up to $5,000 and the loan can be used to purchase livestock, seeds, equipment, and supplies. In addition, the finances can be used to buy and rent the needed equipment for the project.

Emily uses her loans to purchase two head of beef, two pigs, two lambs, and two goats. She uses the animal as collateral, and through the project, she has been able to pay off her loan and usually makes a couple of thousand dollars.

"Through the program, I have been given more opportunities for leadership and teaching the next generation of 4-Hers," she said.

Emily belongs to the 4-H club known as the Wranglers.

The low-interest loan must produce income to repay the loan, and a repayment schedule is dependent on the project but is repayable between 1 and 7 years.

The benefits of the FSA Youth Loan program are invaluable to young people and help them to learn how to borrow money. They also can build credit with the FSA office.

Youth involved in the program have a head start on their future education and occupation.

The borrower must have parental permission and a project advisor who will sponsor the loan application.

So if Kimball area youth are interested in the program, contact the FSA.