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31 Years

Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program


The Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program offers help to acquire and improve agricultural property at lower interest rates. The Commission, in partnership with Northwest Farm Credit Services, is offering tax-exempt bond program loans for qualifying beginning farmers and ranchers that can be combined with other loans, grants and other sources of funds.

Download the Program Brochure (PDF)

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Descripción del Programa en Español (PDF)

Highlights of the Farmer/Rancher Program

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Loans financed with proceeds of tax-exempt bonds issued by the Commission are available up to a maximum amount of $517,700 which may be combined with other loans, grants and other sources of funds for larger projects.


Individuals or families who have not had any direct or indirect ownership interest in farmland in the operation of which such individual materially participated. Or, those who have owned and operated a farm or ranch that was less than 30% of the county’s median farm size. Median Farm Size Chart (Word)

A beginning farmer/rancher must be at least 18 years old, a Washington State resident, and must have sufficient education, training and experience in the type of farming operation for which the bond is requested.

Corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies are ineligible.


The beginning farmer and rancher(s) and/or their children must directly manage and perform the labor for the farming operation. Off-farm income is permitted. The agricultural land, agricultural improvements and depreciable farm property acquired with proceeds of the bond must be used for farming purposes during the term of the bond.


Acquisition of agricultural land

Acquisition, construction and/or improvement of buildings, structures and fixtures to be used in the business of farming and/or ranching

Depreciable farm property

Machinery and equipment

Animals for breeding, work, meat production and dairy


Contact Wendy Knopp at Northwest Farm Credit Services prior to sending application or if you have questions about loan terms and qualifications: (509) 340-5476 or email wendy.knopp@farm-credit.com

Download the Application (Word)


If you have questions concerning initial eligibility for the Beginning Farmer/Rancher Loan Program, please contact:

Dan Schilling, Senior Development Analyst
Multifamily Housing & Community Facilities Division
206.287.4415 or 800.767.4663 | dan.schilling@wshfc.org

David Clifton, Assistant Director
Multifamily Housing & Community Facilities Division
206.287.4407 or 800.767.4663 | david.clifton@wshfc.org


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