Network of Support
The 100 Acre Farm Advantage Program agency partners include the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).
NDA administers the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act to encour-age owners of agricultural assets (land, machinery, livestock facili-ties, etc.) to rent to beginning farmers and ranchers as they get started in business.
FSA provides low interest loans to program participants unable to obtain financing through tradi-tional commercial credit sources. The program utilizes the Begin-ning Farmer and Rancher low in-terest operating loans up to $300,000. These loans allow a be-ginning farmer to lease land, buy equipment and other supplies. After three years of experience young farmers can qualify for low interest real estate loans.
The University of Nebraska-Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture 100 Acre Farm Advantage Program is endorsed by the following:
- Nebraska Corn Growers Association
- Nebraska Soybean Association
- Nebraska Soybean Board
- Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association
- Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board
- Nebraska Corn Board
- Nebraska Wheat Board
- Nebraska Wheat Growers Association.
100 Acre Farm Advantage Program
The University of Nebraska College of Technical Agricul-ture (NCTA) in cooperation with its sister institution, the West Central Research and Extension Center (WCREC), has a long tradition of serving the Nebraska agricultural industry. This service includes agricultural research and the extension of that research information through aca-demic programs located at NCTA and distributed throughout Nebraska through University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension programs. Combined, NCTA and WCREC maintain over 15,000 acres of crop and range land, 650 cows, and teaching facilities that include an in-door arena, horse barn, cattle handling facilities, a confer-ence center, and a large array of classrooms and teaching laboratories. NCTA is dedicated to providing its students with a dynamic education in agriculture and an under-standing of vital economic factors that are important to rural Nebraska’s future. NCTA’s students will continue to make a huge impact on Nebraska agriculture.
The Challenge. For the past two decades, state and federal agencies have worked to develop programs that encourage the transfer of agricultural enterprises to the next generation. Few programs, if any, focus on higher education students studying agriculture.
The Solution. NCTA’s new 100 Acre Farm Advantage program provides an educational curriculum and forum whereby students, parents, employers, and agencies come together to create business plans and transfer programs that will lead to young farmers returning to rural communities as owner-operators.
The Program. Students enroll in NCTA’s degree program in Agriculture Production Systems, which includes the development of a business plan in a capstone course. This plan will be presented to FSA and NDA for the lease of land and equipment purchase that will allow the beginning farmer to start building equity in an agricultural enterprise. Within three years, the low interest operating loan can be enhanced by a real estate loan for the purchase of a farm. Students, their parents, employers, and landowners, also attend a series of seminars to fine tune the students’ individual business plans in the environment in which they will be working. The initial program will provide a catalyst for graduates and their parents or employers to set in place a long range plan that will eventually provide the graduates and their families a profitable cropping system enterprise.
Prepare Students as Entrepreneurs
NCTA’s new 100 Acre Farm Advantage Program allows students to return home with a business plan, partnership agreement, and a low interest loan to acquire substantial agriculture assets to one day own a farm. It is the NCTA faculty’s belief that if students become familiar with entrepreneurial concepts and leadership skills they will help their rural communities become economically viable once again.
Revitalize Rural Nebraska Communities
NCTA educates students throughout Nebraska. These students desire to return home but lack the understanding of how to support themselves in a production agriculture career. NCTA’s new emphasis on entrepreneurship enables students to return to rural Nebraska and operate businesses—first as partners, then as owners.
Decrease the Average Age of the Nebraska Farmer
In 1982, the average age of the Nebraska farmer was 48.5. Today the average age is over 58. This trend, coupled with the prediction that Nebraska land prices will fall, has lead NCTA faculty to develop the 100 Acre Farm Advantage program. NCTA’s 100 acre and 100 cow programs, and its Business Builder program, are determined to reverse the trend.