New young farmer Steve Burris looks out over his farm on August 13, 2009. Burris has always been a strong believer that farms should remain in the family, passed down from generation to generation. His conviction became a reality for his own family recently when his father-in-law decided to retire after 69 years, and to sell Burris the property his family had grown up on and farmed. Burris decided to apply at his local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office in McLoud, Oklahoma for both a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Direct Operating Loan (DOL) and Ownership Loan (OL). Due to the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Burris received his loan in record time. The DOL helped him purchase the existing farm equipment, including a tractor and creep feeder, from his father-in-law and to pay off the remaining debt he held on the farm equipment he already owned. He purchased 65 cows from a private seller in a neighboring town and the loan allowed him to use some of his personal savings to purchase feed, and fertilizer for his winter wheat crop from a local vender. Burrisâs OL was also approved, which enabled him to purchase the farm's existing home and 55 acres from his father-in-law. Burris was a high school agricultural education instructor for seven years, having earned his bachelors degree in agriculture science from Oklahoma State University. He is happy to be more involved in daily farming and splits his time breeding cattle with his wife Kathy and four children, and working as an agent for the local Farmer's Insurance Group office. USDA photo by Alice Welch.
May 5, 2014
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