Finding money to start or expand your farm or ranch business is always a challenge. That’s why it’s great that the National Young Farmers Coalition is leading the way, identifying changes to regulations, both small and large, that could make farm loans more accessible, and then putting together a guidebook to walk you through the process of finding the right loan and applying for it.
“Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm With Federal Loans” has just been released and you can download your copy here. It’s clear, concise, and does an excellent job of summarizing loan options, rates and terms, and the information you’ll need to gather for your application. It also includes case studies of real farmers who received loans and their advice after going through the process.
Taking government documents and translating them into something we can all easily understand isn’t easy. But her months of work on this left author Cara Fraver feeling hopeful. She writes that farmers who got their loans, and even those who didn’t, all said they would work with the Farm Service Agency again because they understand more about farm operations than other lenders. She also says the US Department of Agriculture “wants to lend to a new generation of farmers. They want to find ways to incorporate rooftop gardens, pastured poultry, and CSA into their programs. Recently they’ve unveiled improved crop insurance aimed at diversified growers. While I was writing this guidebook, they announced the EZ Guarantee program, aimed at smaller farms. Your loan officer might not be familiar with movable fencing and might not completely understand your nontraditional marketing strategy, but these loan programs are written with your farm in mind.”
We hope that you’ll get your copy of this great guidebook and see how the Farm Service Agency might help you start or expand your operation. Let us know how it goes!