The province is helping ensure the viability of the agriculture industry by making it easier for new farmers to get the funds and practical business advice they need to be successful. Agriculture Minister John MacDonell unveiled the FarmNEXT program today, Nov. 24, at the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture annual meeting in Truro. FarmNEXT will support new farmers by helping reduce the financial burden of their loans. New farmers may be eligible for up to $30,000 in loan relief when starting a farm business or up to $20,000 in loan relief when buying an established farm business. “Attracting and encouraging new faces to agriculture is vital for the long-term growth and success of the industry,” said Mr. MacDonell. “We are aligning resources to help farmers make ends meet and to support the long-term viability of farm operations in Nova Scotia. Funds are being allocated to new entrants in the most relevant, effective and responsible way.” FarmNEXT will replace the New Entrants to Agriculture program, which has been offered for 10 years. Commitments already made to farmers and agri-businesses under the existing program will be met before the new program comes into effect. Mr. MacDonell said the FarmNEXT program will better meet the needs of Nova Scotians wanting to enter the agriculture industry. Applications for FarmNEXT will be accepted starting April 1. FarmNEXT will be administered through the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board. It will be part of a suite of government programs and services available to Nova Scotians new to agriculture.