; Beginning Farmer and Rancher Credit Usage by Socially Disadvantaged Status | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Beginning Farmer and Rancher Credit Usage by Socially Disadvantaged Status

Bruce Ahrendsen, Charles Dodson, Gianna Short, Ronald Rainey, and Heather Snell


This presentation examines credit usage by beginning farmers and ranchers (BFR). BFR credit usage is stratified by location (state) and by socially disadvantaged farmer and rancher (SDFR, also known as historically underserved) status. SDFR groups are defined to include women; individuals with Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin; individuals who identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native, Black or African American, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Non-SDFR is defined as individuals who identify as non-Hispanic, White men.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data are linked with Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan program administrative data to estimate shares of BFR operations using FSA credit. Census data provided information on population changes in total farms and BFR operations from 2012 to 2017, which are compared by SDFR status. 

Results reveal differences among BFR operations active in agricultural credit markets by SDFR status and state. BFR were more common among SDFR groups, as well as in regions where farms tend to be smaller, such as the Northeast, compared to a more highly agricultural upper Midwest. Among BFR, non-SDFR are more likely to utilize credit than SDFR, however, FSA appeared to be crucial in enabling BFR, and especially beginning SDFR groups, to access loans. 

The results are timely and of keen interest to educators, industry, and policymakers and are expected to assist in developing and adjusting policies and educational programs to effectively promote and improve BFR success in general and for beginning SDFR groups.