Rich Iowa: You had better be what your handle is to buy land right out of college with little or no money. Any bank or even FHA or Farm Credit is going to want to see a track record of some type of farming/income history. It sounds like you have little to zero record.
Regular lending institutions are going to want cash or collateral of at least 20% of the appraised value. The purchase price means nothing much it is what it appraises that counts.
So house and 40 acres will start at $400,000 and up around here. So you are talking about $80-100K for down payment or collateral.
If you are just finishing college at age 28 what degree will you have??? Or did you go to the service first??? These are questions that make a difference. Are you going to have large school loans??? That could sink any thoughts of land purchase. Those will be counted on any balance sheet you have.
There are first time farm buyer loans but they have down payment requirements that are at least 10-15% down.
You will find very few if any owners willing to carry a land contract in todays land market. Most land around me is sold with in DAYS if it has any kind of reasonable price.
Also there are hardly any owners wanting to help some stranger to start farming. It is too dangerous for both parties. The kid may get zero when the owner dies or the owner gets beat out of a reasonable value on his farm.
There is 28 acres that is half tillable sandy soil. 1960ish house that needs some repair with one pole barn that is out dated. They are asking $250,000. It has been for sale for three years. It appraises at $175,000.
You are going to have to start out, like most of us did, by renting and building experience/financial stability. I have helped my children buy land and homes. They all had good jobs that they had been at for several years and money for down payments. Even then they had to start small and work up.