Recently I told you about The Michigan Land Use Institute’s work on helping low-income families get into farming, and how MLUI is encouraging aspiring farmers to enroll in Agricultural Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs. These bank savings accounts allow for future farmers to save money for land, equipment or other costs and receive a two to one match of federal and private dollars.
So, for example, if you are below a certain income level, and if you enroll in the program and save up to $1,000 of your own money, it is matched at a 2:1 ratio with federal funds and private funds from Cherry Republic. That means a farmer who saves $1,000 will end up with a savings account of $3,000 to put toward starting a farm or making upgrades to an existing agri-business.
Yes we know, it’s a cool idea.