Updates to FSA Microloan Program

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;
  • Tools;
  • Delivery vehicles; and
  • Irrigation

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!

USDA Expanding Opportunities for Beginning Farmers

The USDA announced yesterday new and exciting changes (read: opportunities) for beginning farmers, effective November 7.  Below are a quick list of the changes, which will be discussed in further depth in later blog posts:

  • The borrowing limit for microloans increases from $35,000 to $50,000;
  • Simplified procedures for lending;
  • Updating “farming experience” to include other experiences;
  • Expanding eligible business entities to reflect changes in how family farms and ranches or owned and operated.

More information from the USDA may be found here.