News & Updates
| Published: July 01, 2024

Farm Credit Awards $150,000 to New and Beginning Farmers

2024 JumpStart Winners

Horizon Farm Credit recently awarded $150,000 in grant funds to 15 new and beginning farmers through JumpStart, the Association’s competitive grant program for farmers in the start-up phase of business.

JumpStart is an annual grant program for agriculturalists with two years or less of farming experience, or those who plan to begin farming within the next two years. Grant funds can be used in various ways to support farm businesses. The 2024 recipients plan to use their funds to advance their operations through the purchase of items ranging from high tunnel systems that extend production cycles to irrigation systems, new infrastructure, and livestock handling equipment, among much else. Funds can also be utilized for services including legal fees, business planning, or other startup costs.  

“Supporting beginning farmers is and always will be a priority at Farm Credit, and we’re proud to play a role in helping these individuals get started on their journey,” said Tom Truitt, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Farm Credit. “These farmers are all uniquely talented, and one thing they share is their obvious passion for agriculture and ensuring its successful future. The funding provided by this grant program is a steppingstone for these new farmers to pursue their dreams and realize long-term financial success.”

The following applicants received grants valued at $10,000 to establish and grow their farms:

  • Trenton Aitken of Follansbee, West Virginia
  • Justin Belko of Wexford, Pennsylvania
  • Bret Bucci Jr. and Trish Bucci of Sharptown, Maryland
  • Andrew Burkholder of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Andy Christman of Derry, Pennsylvania
  • Frank Hamill of New Florence, Pennsylvania
  • Elizabeth Krug of Dalton, Pennsylvania
  • Jennifer Lauri of Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania
  • Reges and Jean Magtibay of Westminster, Maryland
  • Caleb Murphy of Greenwood, Delaware
  • Matt Nowicki of Red Lion, Pennsylvania
  • Becky Rockstroh of Freeland, Maryland
  • Arthur "Carey" Saffelle III and Melissa Saffelle of Front Royal, Virginia
  • Mitchel Smith of Shermans Dale, Pennsylvania
  • Craig and Erin Swope of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

More than 100 applications were received for the 2024 JumpStart grant program, all of which were carefully evaluated by a diverse panel of agriculture professionals and industry experts. Those named above were selected on the merits of their submissions, which included an application, business plan, and completion of the Ag Biz Basics educational course. Learn more about this program by visiting

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