Farm Credit’s FarmStart surpasses $15M in investments

Farm Credit East

FarmStart has invested in more than 300 entrepreneurial startups throughout the Northeast

Farm Credit’s FarmStart program is pleased to announce that it has invested more than $15 million in beginning farmers’ businesses. FarmStart is a unique program that invests working capital of up to $75,000 in Northeast agricultural, fishing and forest products ventures showing promise of success. Since the first investment approved in August 2006, FarmStart has invested in more than 300 entrepreneurial startups throughout the Northeast.

“Farm Credit East has a long-term commitment of helping individuals get started in farming, forest products and commercial fishing,” said Mike Reynolds, Farm Credit East CEO. “Surpassing $15 million in FarmStart investments indicates the continued interest of young entrepreneurs to enter the industry, and we’re pleased to provide the capital and support these new businesses need to get started.”

This most recent FarmStart investment was to Joshua Helman, a first-generation grape farmer in Westfield, N.Y. Helman recently began his operation with 27 acres of leased grapes.

“We were presented with an opportunity to run our own grape farm, however, financially we didn’t have the means to buy the necessary machinery and equipment,” said Helman. “FarmStart made it possible for us and helped us buy the machinery and supplies we’ll need over the next few years to build a successful business.”

FarmStart, LLP is a joint initiative of Farm Credit East, Yankee Farm Credit and CoBank to fulfill Farm Credit’s long-term commitment to support a vibrant, entrepreneurial northeast agricultural community. FarmStart participants complete a business plan and monthly cash flow budget to serve as a roadmap for their startup business. In addition to the financial investment, a FarmStart advisor works with each participant to help the new business stay on track toward achieving business objectives. For more information, visit


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