ADVISORY: USDA EXPANDS ACCESS TO LOANS TO HELP MORE BEGINNING AND FAMILY FARMERS
ALBANY, GA — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is improving farm loans by expanding and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers. USDA is simplifying the lending process by raising the borrowing limit for the microloan program from $35,000 to $50,000, simplifying lending processes, broadening the requirements of “farming experience”, and expanding and updating eligibility requirements for business entities interested in loans. These changes will become effective November 7, 2014.
Small and mid-sized farmers will now be able to access additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay. Furthermore, the expansion of eligibility will allow other types of skills such as leadership in military or advanced education in an agricultural field to be considered to meet the direct experience required in order to get the loan.
The 2014 Farm Bill has been the key in making these programs a reality. This bill has made it possible for the USDA to provide essential services such as: disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; risk management tools; expansion of access to rural credit; and funding to critical research, housing, and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information about the USDA’s lending announcement and how it may impact beginning and family famers, visit here, here, and here.