My first gut reaction to anything with a USDA stamp on it is..

“there’s gonna be LOTS of hoops to jump through, and it’ll be awhile in the process…….” First things first. It’s not enough for most farm loans, to merely be earning a profit at the moment. Every ag lending program I’ve ever seen, whether through USDA or through commercial lenders, requires that you show your business records for typically the last five years. They want to know that not only are you managing things well now, but you have a long track record of managing the farm profitably through all the regular ups and downs of whatever market you’re selling for. And when I say records, I’m talking about typical business accounting reports like Profit & Loss, Cash Flow, taxes, sales records, cost of doing business, etc. So if you don’t have those records, and/or if you don’t have rock solid performance, that right there may disqualify you.
Having said that, perhaps a more careful and prudent approach would be to find a local or regional ag lender, and go in and talk to them about what you would qualify for IF you decided to refinance. Most lenders are happy to sit down with someone (whether residential, commercial or in this case agricultural) and go over your actual numbers to see what you could do today. Ask them about that particular program too, and see if they have any experience with it or with other USDA lending programs. That would give you some really valuable information not only about whether you qualify, but also what are the hoops going to be. Also find out how long it takes between actually making the application, getting an answer, and then getting the money. Those loans are rarely fast. Think in terms of months. Particularly since the USDA offices are coming off the furloughs, they’re going to be seriously backed up with paperwork that needed to go out three weeks ago. I’d let this sit for at least two weeks and let them start to get caught up, before going in for that appt.
Most importantly: if you don’t qualify now (and don’t be surprised if that’s the situation) ask what you’d need to do now, to qualify down the road. This also applies not only to your situation, but to ANYONE wanting to refinance ANY type of loan. Lenders have had a hard time keeping up with all the new financing changes given how flaky the economy has been the last five years or so, and that’s their day in day out jobs. Very difficult for borrowers to keep up with those changes. So even if you would have qualified a few years ago, the rules are all different now. Given that, it’s very, very common for a borrower, or potential borrower, to want to find out what they qualify for. You’d make the lender’s day if you walked in without your heart set on X, but rather wanted to see where you stood and how you can strengthen your application. Or, if you already do qualify, then you’ll KNOW instead of wondering. We’re preparing to do exactly the same thing so that we can learn what to do now, to be able to qualify for buying the farm where we rent land. We don’t want that moment to come one year, two years or five years from now, and go in with fingers crossed, and find out we don’t qualify. Better to find out now, and kill those obstacles now, then present a really solid application later.

February 27, 2016 | Category: reaction

I’m thinking longer term

made my peace that it probably isn’t going to happen within the next 5 years unless I win the Lottery (and you gotta play to win!) and I’m tired of living for tomorrow – time to make the best of what I have and enjoy it.

No limit or minimum on the size.

This program is in place if you have less than stellar credit which is why I’m thinking of it.

Working on both those – pups are paying for themselves and the rest of the dogs so that is covered.

Sheep will break even even if I have to sell all lambs (calculated using 1 per ewe and 10 out of 16 ewes) for meat. Most of my girls throw twins and trips and if sold for breeding stock, even if only 10% I’ll show a healthy profit.

Poultry – as much as I’d like to have chickens again, I’ve come to the conclusion that guineas can do the same pest control job I need and cost significantly less to feed, and honestly, I LIKE roast guinea fowl!

Mike says refinancing is only good when

you will be holding on to the place longer than it would take you to recover the cost of the refinance. He generally says 5 years or longer. I know you have been talking about moving lock stock and barrel north, WAAAY north, and if you are still considering that then a re-fi may not be a good option due to the costs.
Also, I forget how many acres you have, but those loans sometimes are based on the size of your place, also with where you are located are you in danger of being pulled into the city limits or fence line? If so that may rule you out.
With what your ex has pulled this last couple of years would you even qualify? Because even though you are divorced the bills he took will still show up on your credit report.
Kathryn knows a heck of a lot more about farm financing than I do, so you two may need to do some serious chatting about the pros and cons of the option.
Please remember though if there is anything you cannot bank on it is livestock production. It’s either really good, or really bad—we’ve both been there—sometimes together.
Have you ran a cost analysis on your sheep yet? How about the puppy sales? I know we discussed the pros and cons of poultry production the other day.