Matched savings accounts have a long history related to helping people start businesses, buy first homes or save for going back to school. There are a number of examples of matched savings accounts around the nation being used to help beginning farmers. The Farm Beginnings Matched Savings Account is designed to assist beginning farmers in acquiring an asset critical to their farming operation.
A matched savings account for beginning farmers is a combination of money and education. The participant saves a given amount during the life of the program, usually two years. They are also required to participate in and complete a financial planning and educational component.
The Farm Beginnings matched savings account will provide a 100% match of up to $2,400. The participant is expected to save on a monthly basis, up to $100/month over a 24-month period. During that period the participants are required to participate in and complete the educational requirements within the Farm Beginnings Journeyperson Course.
• Participants can save up to $100 per month for 24 months, or $2,400.
• At the end of the 24 months, Farm Beginnings will match the participant’s contribution (up to $2,400).
• Participants saving the maximum will have $4,800 available for purchasing assets for their farming operation.
Requirements to Participate in the Farm Beginnings Matched Savings Program:
• Must be farming independently at the beginning of the program.
• Must be Farm Beginning graduates or currently enrolled in a LSP Farm Beginning course.
• Must be LSP members.
• Must complete the educational components of the Farm Beginnings Journeyperson Course.
• Must submit an annual one-year and a five-year strategic farm plan.
• The Matched Savings Account money must be used for a “new wealth” generating expense. Participants will determine the asset through work with their financial adviser and farmer mentor. The expense needs to be part of a submitted financial plan to receive the money.