Individual Development Accounts

Introduction

IDAs, or Individual Development Accounts, are savings accounts that provide a matching funds for farmers of low or moderate means. Typically, the farmer or farm family must make regular and minimum contributions, as well as participate in farm business course to receive the matching funds. This creates a pattern of saving as well as additional equity for the purchase of farm assetts. Farmers often use the savings and matching funds to purchase farm equipment, enter a long-term lease, or make a down-payment on farmland.

Organizations

The following organizations provide IDA programs. These are often state or regional initiatives and benefits and eligibility requirements for the programs will vary.

California FarmLink IDA Program

  • Matched savings at a rate of 3:1 for up to $300/month over a two year period, for a total match of $9600.
  • The program is supplemented with required farm finance and money management workshops and the development of a business plan.
  • Eligibility requirements include being a beginning farmer, currently farming under a lease or on owned land of less than 10 farmable acres, not having signficant financial resources or assetts, and not having a recent history of defaulting on agricultural loans.

Practical Farmers of Iowa's Savings Incentive Program

  • A dollar for dollar matching program for two years and up to $2400.
  • Includes a mentorship program, business plan development, and atttendance at networking events.
  • Eligible farmers must currently be farming but for five years or less, be a member of PFI, and be a legal resident of Iowa.

C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems' Agriculture Individual Development Accounts

 

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