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Sussex Countian
  • Applications sought for state’s Young Farmers program

  • A state program that helps young farmers purchase tillable land in Delaware is now seeking applications for its third round of funding.
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  • A state program that helps young farmers purchase tillable land in Delaware is now seeking applications for its third round of funding.
    The Young Farmers Program provides 30-year, zero-interest loans to eligible farmers between the ages of 18 and 40, who have at least three years of farming experience and a net worth of less than $300,000.
    The loan must be used to purchase farmland with at least 15 tillable acres zoned for agricultural use and can fund up to 70 percent of the value of the property’s development rights, which is defined as the difference between full market value and agricultural value, up to a maximum of $500,000.
    Land purchased through the program also is permanently preserved through Delaware’s Agricultural Lands Preservation Program.
    “We have had tremendous interest in the program so far,” said Austin Short, Delaware’s deputy secretary of agriculture, who oversees the program. “This is a way to help reduce the financial impact on farmers starting out and attract more young people to invest in agriculture.”
    Information packets and applications for the Young Farmers program can be found on the state Department of Agriculture’s website, dda.delaware.gov, or by contacting Short by calling (302) 698-4500 or emailing austin.short@state.de.us.

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