Thursday, January 17, 2013

USDA announces new micro-loan program for beginning, minority, young and family farmers

The Department of Agriculture announced this week it will start a new micro-loan program for small, family, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers seeking loans of less than $35,000. A press release says the program aims to help "producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity for that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations." The program will have a simpler application process than other farm loans.

Secretary Tom Vilsack said the program is another example of USDA expanding opportunities for minority, disadvantaged, young and beginning farmers and ranchers. The program will be administered by the USDA's Farm Service Agency, and will have an interest rate that changes monthly. The current rate is 1.25 percent. FSA offices are listed here.

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