USDA Announces New Micro-loan Program

The USDA has launched a new program that will provide micro-loans of up to $35,000 to small, beginning, and socially disadvantaged farmers. The program aims to help producers pay for start-up expenses (like hoop houses for season extension, essential tools, irrigation, delivery vehicles, etc.) and annual expenses (seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing, and distribution costs). The USDA has purposely simplified the application process for this program, making it less burdensome in comparison to traditional federal farm loans.

If interested in applying for a loan, contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. For more information, see this fact sheet on the FSA’s website.

Accepting Applications for The OEFFA Investment Fund

Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA), in partnership with the Sustainable Agriculture Fund, LLC announces the establishment of The OEFFA Investment Fund, to “promote sustainable agriculture in Ohio by making flexible and affordable capital available to farmers and farm-related businesses.”

In its pilot phase, the Fund has made $500,00 available as loans, land leases and equity investments for organic OEFFA members in Ohio. Typical investments range from $5,000 to $50,000, but requests for other amounts between $2,500 and $250,000 will be considered. These funds may be used for:

  • Capital investments and expenses that improve efficiency, quality or expansion of business production and sales
  • Repairs necessary to maintain business operations
  • Short-term operating needs, such as inventory, supplies or labor for expansion
  • Emergency funds to deal with business interruptions due to fire, natural disasters or other unforeseeable events
  • Other uses subject to the Fund’s Investment Committee approval

Visit the OEFFA Investment Fund’s webpage for more information on loan terms and conditions and application process guidelines. For information about the Fund contact the OEFFA office at (614) 421-2022 ext. 202, or OIFinfo@oeffa.org.

 

 

Updated Farm Service Agency Loan Factsheets Available

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) shared an updated farm loan program factsheet on its website with new information effective October 1, 2012. The factsheet provides an overview of the types of loans available and borrower eligibility information. Under the FSA farm loans program, farmers can apply for farm ownership loans, farm operating loans, a downpayment program for socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers, rural youth loans, emergency loans, conservation loans, land contract guarantees and loan servicing and supervised credit.

Farm Loan Information Chart is also available, providing a concise summary for each loan program and details on the maximum borrowing amount and the rates and terms and use of proceeds for each type of loan.

Visit the FSA website for more information on FSA Farm Loan programs.

A Big Boost for Small Farmers: New Microloan Rule Proposed by FSA

A new rule proposed by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) suggests federal programs will be better equipped to meet the needs of America’s small farmers. The rule, announced by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week, creates a new microloan program for small and beginning farmers, providing loans of up to $35,000. These smaller loans are tailored to provide enough capital for farmers to cover the costs of running a smaller-scale operation, with a simplified and streamlined application process.

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until July 23, 2012. Make your voice heard in support of this and other programs like it that support the needs of small, beginning and sustainable family farmers—click here to view the rule and submit your comments in support of this important work!

Equine Operations Now Eligible for Farm Service Agency Emergency Loans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has expanded the FSA emergency loan program to include assistance for equine operations facing losses due to natural disasters.

Certain equine farms and ranches within or contiguous to a county  declared a disaster area by the President or the Secretary of Agriculture can apply for emergency funds to restore or replace essential property, cover production costs associated with the disaster, pay essential living expenses, reorganize the operation, and refinance certain debts.

For more information on FSA’s emergency loan program eligibility, requirements, terms and conditions, please refer to the FSA emergency loan program fact sheet and www.fsa.usda.gov.