SARE, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education arm of the USDA, recently released an updated guide titled Building Sustained Farms, Ranches and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development.
The guide provides background information on 63 government programs, including programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. Each description provides information on available resources, how to apply and, when applicable, how funding as been used. Information is also included on finding appropriate funding programs and grant writing.
The guide is a wonderful resource, especially for beginning farmers and ranchers. Take a look at it!
Until recently, applicants for an FSA direct farm ownership loan had to prove they participated in the operations of a farm for at least three years. Beginning farmers identified this eligibility requirement as a barrier to land access, as the requirement was not reflective of current realities for beginning farmers. However, the eligibility requirement has changed.
Now, a beginning farmer may substitute one year of the three-year requirement with a formal farm apprenticeship, operation or management of a non-farm business, leadership or management experience while serving in any branch of the military, advanced education in an agricultural field, or significant experience in a farm-related career.
Hopefully, this change will allow more beginning farmers access to direct loans from FSA. If you need any assistance, feel free to contact us — we’re happy to help!
The microloan program, operated by the Farm Service Agency, has recent changes that many farmers will likely appreciate.
First, the loan limit is raised from $35,000 to $50,000. This means that farmers or ranchers applying for a microloan can now access up to $50,000 for expenses such as:
- Start-up costs;
- Input costs (e.g. seed, fertilizer, chemicals, utilities);
- Marketing and distribution costs;
- Family living expenses;
- Purchase of livestock, equipment, machinery or the like essential to the operation;
- Minor improvements such as wells;
- Delivery vehicles; and
The above is a small sampling of possibilities to use with microloan funding.
Also of note, microloan funding to beginning and military veteran farmers does not count towards the total number of years a farmer can receive assistance through FSA’s direct loan program. If you are not a beginning or military veteran farmer, the microloan counts towards the seven year limit in which a farmer can receive FSA direct loan assistance.
If you have any questions about microloans, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to answer your questions!
As a reminder, SARE’s Farmer/Rancher Grants are due November 20, 2014. The grants are up to $7,500 for an individual, $15,000 for partners, and $22,5000 for a group. Projects may last up to 22 months and approximately 50 projects are funded each year.
More information can be found on our previous post — feel free to check it out and if you need help or assistance, contact us!
If you are an owner of an agricultural asset, such as land, livestock, machinery, or buildings, and are interested in the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit for the 2014 tax year, the deadline to apply is approaching. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture requires applications for the tax credit to be received by December 31, 2014 for a tax credit beginning in the 2014 tax year.
If you have any questions, please contact us!