IFA’s Beginning Farmer Bond Program

  • Lorrie Karcher, Program Administrator
  • Illinois Finance Authority
  • 2929 Broadway, Suite 7B
  • Mount Vernon, IL 62864
  • Phone: 618-244-2424
  • Fax: 618-244-2433
  • Email: LKarcher@il-fa.com
  • Website Link: 

Purpose of the Program

Provide affordable financing to new, low net worth farmers to finance the purchase of agricultural land, new depreciable property, or used depreciable property in conjunction with agricultural land.

Who is Eligible

Net worth – the applicant must have a net worth of not more than $500,000 at the time of application. Net worth is defined as total assets less total liabilities of the individual and the individual’s spouse and minor children if any;

Residency – the applicant must be a permanent resident of Illinois when the bond is issued;

Age – the applicant must be at least eighteen (180 years of age when the IFA loan application is submitted;

Individuals – the applicant must be an individual.  I cannot loan money corporations, partnerships, trusts, or any other legal entity under the Beginning Farmer Program;

Capital Requirements – the applicant may be required to document to the satisfaction of the Lender and IFA that he/she will have access to adequate working capital, farm equipment, and livestock, if applicable; and

Limited Prior Ownership – the applicant must not have had any prior direct or indirect ownership interest in a substantial amount of land.  A substantial amount of land is a parcel that exceeds 30% of the median farm size in the county in which the land is located.

Application Process

Applicants and their local lenders work together to complete an application that is reviewed by the IFA. Applications are on the IFA website – www.il-fa.com.