California FarmLink’s work joins the efforts of farm transition organizations throughout the
country by coupling efforts to transition farm businesses with preservation of farmland in
perpetuity and special outreach to low-income and minority farmers. FarmLink’s programs offer
technical assistance regarding farm business transitions and securing assets through loans or
matched-savings. California FarmLink has a database with names of over 600 beginning farmers
interested in starting or developing their own farming or ranching operations, and a database with
the names of nearly 200 retiring farmers looking to keep their land in agricultural production.
FarmLink’s Farm Opportunities Loan Program provides infrastructure and operating loans to
beginning farmers. The Loan Program can get a start-up small farm established, cover key operating
costs, or help a farm business expand. Loans are reviewed by a committee including commercial
agricultural lenders and guaranteed 90% by the USDA Farm Service Agency. FarmLink’s innovative IDA
program, launched in 2003, helps low-income farmers build assets for capital expenditures through a
matched-savings account. With recent national recognition for its inclusion in the current Farm
Bill, it is the first program of its kind in the country to exclusively serve farmers.