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Farm Service Administration youth loan benefited college graduate

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Callie Perry took out an FSA youth loan to raise cows like these.
Callie Perry took out an FSA youth loan to raise cows like these.

Callie Perry took out a $5,000 FSA rural youth loan at age 13 to expand her beef cattle business, stemming from her family's previous livestock holdings. Nine years later, she has graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor's degree in animal science and owns a herd that's more than twice the size of her original group of cows.

The idea of the FSA's loan program, which allows young people from ages 10 to 20 to apply for a $5,000 loan, is to encourage youth to carry on family farming businesses. The loans must be used to begin an agricultural, for-profit enterprise and allow the borrower to buy farm animals and plant seed, buy or rent equipment and pay any other business overhead.

In Perry's case, she was able to use profits from her project to pay college tuition and now says "I'm in better financial shape than a lot of my friends." And paying her loan back with interest was also a life lesson that she gleaned from the experience.

A leading provider of agricultural equipment, John Deere supplies fledgling and experience farmers alike with machinery for their operations.

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