Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program

Financing for your new or expanding farm, ranch, or agricultural business.

The Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program is a financially-inclusive lending program that offers financing to beginning farmers and ranchers, and businesses that transform, package, process, store, or grade Colorado farm or ranch products.

We’re using alternative forms of documentation to qualify loans that conventional lenders won’t consider. By providing agricultural infrastructure and operating loans to those who might not otherwise qualify for traditional lending opportunities, we are seeking to strengthen Colorado agriculture, expand diversity within farming, and increase participation from next-generation farmers.

Loan funds can be used for most business purposes, including, but not limited to: operating expenses, the purchase of land and equipment, business improvements, worker wages, and conservation projects.

 

Program status
Estatus del programa

 

OPEN // ABIERTA

 

Apply for a loan here
Solicite su préstamo aquí

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Loan Amount: Up to $750,000*

 

 

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 Revolving Credit: Up to 5 years

 

*Higher limits may be considered with prior approval

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 Loan Term: 1 to 20 years

 

 

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 Interest Rate: 4% fixed rate

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We created the Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program with real people and real businesses in mind.

Introducing a financially-inclusive lending program that makes it easy for you to qualify and receive a low-interest loan to start or expand your business.

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You are a sheep milk farmer who wants to establish another line of revenue by processing and selling wool at farmer’s markets and local knitting stores.

The Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program will enable you to expand and financially stabilize your business. 
 

Sheep in the snow
Photo by Ben Griffiths
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You are a fourth-generation farmer who is new to this country and ready to use your skills and passion for farming to start your own farming business in Colorado.

The Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program will enable you to purchase necessities and begin operating your farm.

Man in a wheat field
Photo by Cheryl Jacobson
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You are a first-generation rancher who does not have the benefit of land inheritance, but you have had training from a mentor and have the support and knowledge to start a custom grazing operation.

The Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program will provide the foothold for you to purchase necessities and begin operating your ranch.
 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • A good business or business expansion idea.
  • Details about how your business is going to operate. 
  • An understanding of how much money it will take to run your business and how much money your business will be able to make with this investment. 
  • Evidence that you pay your bills on time and meet your financial obligations.
  • Passion, commitment, and grit. You have to really want to do it and be willing to find solutions when you hit inevitable obstacles along the way that will force you to pivot and keep going.
  • The farming, food production, and other business skills necessary to operate your business. Having training, experience, or education in your field is essential. 
  • Support. You listen to feedback and accept assistance from support organizations.
  • You must be a resident of Colorado.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must own or operate a farm, ranch, or business that provides supporting infrastructure to benefit farms and ranches in the state of Colorado. Although your business does not yet have to be operational, you do need to have applied for and received a Colorado business license. 
  • You must have the ability and resources needed to operate. You are capable of beginning or expanding the operation of your business as soon as funds are disbursed. 
  • You must have the education, training, or experience necessary to operate the business. 
  • You will need to provide a detailed written description of your business that answers the following questions. To make the application process quicker, we suggest that you write your response to each of the questions before you begin your application.
    • What does your business do?
    • What need(s) are you filling?
    • Who are your customers and how will you reach them?
    • How is your business going to make money?
    • What do you need to get started?
    • What are the biggest challenges you face?
    • What do you have in place to help you succeed?
    • How will you measure success?
       
  • Beginning farms and ranches as well as food processors and other businesses that provide an economic benefit to Colorado farmers or ranchers. Some examples include:
    • Farms and Ranches
      • Farmers producing field crops, fruit crops, vegetables, dairy, and eggs either for food consumption, feed, or as a vital raw material
      • Ranchers raising livestock
      • Poultry and fish farmers
      • Beekeepers
    • Other Supporting Services
      • Meat packers
      • Processing plants
      • Mills
      • Hatcheries
      • Storage and distribution operations
      • Transportation systems
  • Don’t see your business on the list? Reach out and talk to our team.
     

We aim to expand diversity in farming, increase participation of next-generation farmers, and strengthen Colorado’s agricultural industry.

CDA is seeking to build resilience in agricultural systems by expanding opportunities and increasing access to funds for individuals and businesses that have traditionally lacked access to loan opportunities. It is our hope that this loan program can provide a critical foundation for new and beginning ag businesses and serve as a foothold into more traditional lending for these businesses.

We intend to increase next-generation participation by granting loans to farmers and ranchers, and any qualified applicant who dreams of owning or expanding their business within the farm-to-market infrastructure, which includes processors, distributors, and other businesses that provide an economic benefit to Colorado farmers and ranchers.
 

  • There are 6 key steps in the loan process: gathering information, preparation, application, acceptance, fund disbursement, and loan repayment.
    • Gathering Information: We’ve created several resources to help you get started. Click here to visit our homepage for an overview of the loan and basic loan details. Read the content on this website for more details (including within this list of frequently asked questions). Set up a one-on-one with a CDA team member or one of our community partners. 
    • Preparation: This program is designed to be flexible and user-friendly. We know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for everyone, and we don’t want anything to hold you back from realizing your dream. We encourage you to use the loan application process to help you better understand how you can build your business and achieve your goals.
    • Application: The application is available on paper or online. Reach out today and we can help you choose the format that works best for your needs. If you think you are ready to apply, click here to go directly to the application. If you have gathered all of your supporting materials, the application can often be completed within an hour; however, it is not unusual to spend several weeks preparing your supporting materials for the loan application if you are a new business or if this is your first time seeking funding.
    • Acceptance: We value your time and want to keep your momentum going, so we make a point of reviewing and responding to all completed loan applications within 7-14 business days. 
    • Fund Disbursement: Once your loan has been approved, funds will be available for use within 5-7 business days.
    • Re-Payment: Your loan acceptance letter will provide details specific to your customized re-payment plan. Generally speaking, loans are paid back in a series of equal installments over a set period of time. This timeline is determined at the start of the loan based on your business needs and amount requested. If you have any questions, please reach out to a member of the CDA team or one of our community partners. We’re here to help.
       

Once you’ve completed and submitted your loan application, acceptance can take 7-14 business days and fund disbursement can take 5-7 business days. The entire process from submission of a complete application to funds disbursement can happen within a few weeks. If you are new to borrowing, the application process may be your first step into developing the documentation needed to properly tell your story. If so, dedication and patience helps ensure that you not only tell it well, but that the story is better than when you started.

  • 4% fixed interest rate. This means that your interest rate will remain at 4% for the life of your loan.
  • Term notes of 1-20 years. A term note states how many years it will take you to repay the loan. 
  • 1.5% loan fee. Example: a loan of $100,000 will incur a fee of $1,500. Fees can be paid off over the loan period.
  • Revolving lines of credit up to 5 years. These are like a credit card- a loan you can draw from as needed and pay back with interest.
  • Up to $750,000.* (*Higher limits may be considered with prior approval.)
  • Flexible payment terms and deferred payment options.

To ease the application process, we partnered with First Southwest Bank. What this means is that your privacy is maintained and we, as a state government organization, do not know specifics about your background and credit history. A member of First Southwest Bank will walk you through the process from ensuring you’ve gathered all qualifying materials and to answering questions you have during the application process. You will complete the application through First Southwest Bank’s website or by filing a paper application.

We’re here to help. Please click here to access the list on our “Contact” page to send us a message, call and talk to a real person who can answer your questions, or schedule a phone or in-person meeting to get the answers you are looking for. 

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Still have question?

We're here to help. 

Send us a message or call and talk to someone from our team.
We have the answers you are looking for.

Email: cda_loans@state.co.us

Phone: 720-347-8095

 

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Correo electrónico: cda_loans@state.co.us

Telefono (en español): 720.670.4955