ENFIELD, CONN. —FarmStart, a unique Farm Credit program that invests working capital in beginning Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products ventures showing promise of success, recently announced it has invested more than $17 million in startup agriculture, forestry and fishing businesses since 2006.
One recent investment was with Nick Doyle, owner of Sunny Acres Farmstead, a seasonal wholesale cut flower business and Baltic Greenhouse Nursery, a retail garden center in Baltic, Conn. Along with Nick’s wife and brother, they farm six acres of land from June through October.
“FarmStart has allowed my business to purchase the items a farm needs prior to the growing season and prior to any profits made from crop sales,” said Nick. “Without FarmStart we would be in a much tighter financial situation while we get our farm set up. There are always more expenses in the first few years of creating a farm, and FarmStart allows us to expand and improve our systems without putting a strain on our finances during the slow season.”
In the FarmStart program, customers work with an advisor who walks them through the preparation of a business plan and continually follows up on management goals and objectives. Nick’s FarmStart advisor, Samantha St. Jean, walked him through the process and got his venture on the way to success. Nick added, “The process is intensive and very forward thinking, but helps shine a light on how your business is doing.”
FarmStart, LLP is a joint initiative of Farm Credit East and CoBank to fulfill Farm Credit’s long-term commitment to support a vibrant, entrepreneurial northeast agricultural community. The program invests working capital of up to $75,000 to help beginning and early-stage northeast farm, forest products and commercial fishing businesses and cooperatives grow and expand. Since its first investment approved in August 2006, FarmStart has invested more than $17 million with over 350 entrepreneurs across the Northeast.
For more information, visit FarmCreditEast.com/FarmStart.