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New tool for big farmland challenge

The Finding Farmland Calculator is designed to help farmers understand farm financing options, determine what they can afford and prepare to work with a loan officer. (Taken from https://findingfarmland.youngfarmers.org/calculator)

Finding farmland to buy or rent is a major challenge for young farmers — and older ones, too. Now, the National Young Farmers Coalition is offering a new tool that aims to make the task a little easier.

The Finding Farmland Calculator is designed to help farmers understand farm financing options, determine what they can afford and prepare to work with a loan officer. It was created with input from young farmers and farm service providers, according to the National Young Farmers Coalition.

"Buying land is one of the most consequential decisions that a farmer can make," Lindsey Lusher Shute, the organization's executive director and co-founder, said in a written statement. "We built the Finding Farmland Calculator to help farmers make that choice with more confidence. The tool helps users understand their financing options, the full cost of buying land and strategies to make a farm more affordable."

The organization says the calculator is part of a larger campaign, which includes farm bill and state policy advocacy, to help young farmers obtain access to land. The campaign is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

The National Young Farmers Coalition, based in Hudson, N.Y., describes itself as "an advocacy network of farmers fighting for the future of agriculture."

More information on the organization, go to www.youngfarmers.org. To go to the new calculator, go to https://findingfarmland.youngfarmers.org/calculator.

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