USDA Targeting Smaller Producers With New Loan

The US Department of Agriculture looks to attract new producers into agriculture. In 2013 USDA will launch a brand new micro-loan program through USDA's Farm Service Agency. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Loan Manager Roger Joekel says the program is designed for smaller operations or start up operations.

The loan program can help the growing market of locally grown food. USDA's microloan program is available to make loans up to $35 thousand dollars over one year or a seven year loan period. The interest rate will be the same as other loans offered to farmers and ranchers at one and one-eight percent. The loan can be used for operating expenses or term operating loans and capital expenses like machinery and equipment. Joekel says the application process is slightly different from other farm program loans.

To qualify for the microloan program, applicants will need to have a written business plan. Joekel says FSA as well as other area resources will assist individuals in writing their business plan.

Before the microloan program is available to producers, it will first appear in the Federal Register. After the 30 day grace period, FSA will be able to take applicants. Joekel anticipates the Microloan program will come out in February 2013.

For more information on USDA's microloan program - contact Roger Joekel at the Scottsbluff USDA office.


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