Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics


The problem stated as a broad social question is : Has the Farm Ownership loan program been achieving its objectives of reducing farm tenancy and promoting security of tenure through family farm ownership? Available evidence indicates that the program may not have been very effective in reducing farm tenancy either nationally or in a high-tenancy area such as South Dakota where 53 percent of the farmers were tenants in 1940 . From its inception in 1937 through June 30, 1950, the Farm Ownership loan program made 58, 395 direct and insured loans in the United States. This figure compared with 1, 442, 419 farm tenants ( 26. 8 percent of all farmers ) in the United States in 1950 indicates something of the magnitude of the job to be done if the program is to be an effective agent in reducing farm tenancy. In South Dakota, 728 farm purchase loans had been made up to January 1, 1952; but in 1950, there were still 20, 197 farm tenants comprising 30.4 percent of all farmers in the state . The program accounted for only 554 (4.53 percent) of 12, 228 farm ownership achieved in South Dakota during the 1940's . These data suggest that the Farm Ownership loan program has bad a limited effect in reducing tenancy in a high-tenancy area such as South Dakota. The program has been definitely limited in this respect by congressional appropriations . Appropriations for farm-ownership loans varied from 10 million dollars for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1938, as authorized with the enactment of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, to the maximum amount ( 50 million dollars) permissible under the Act . This maximum appropriation has been made only four times ( 1941, 1942, 1946, and 1947) during the life of the program. Inasmuch as the nation, through Congress, has limited the Farm Ownership loan program by restricting the amount of loanable funds with which it operates, the effect of the program in reducing farm tenancy would be, consequently, limited to a corresponding degree . If farm tenancy is to be appreciably reduced from its present level, and if young farmers are to obtain the kind of credit they need for achieving farm ownership early in life, this type of credit program on an expanded scale may be necessary in addition to other sources of farm purchase credit . Whether the Farm Ownership loan program should be expanded depends upon answers to questions concerning economic conditions, the demand and need for this type of credit program, and the effectiveness of this credit program as a means for achieving family farm ownership . (See more in text.)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Farm ownership -- South Dakota
Agricultural credit -- South Dakota
Farms -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 123-124)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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