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46981

USDA Now Offering Microloans for Farm Purchases, Property Improvements

To create another option for financial assistance, the USDA is now offering farm ownership microloans to help farmers buy and improve property. Who will benefit from these? Likely beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans hoping to find their place in farming, and small and mid-sized farming operations.

“Many producers, especially new and underserved farmers, tell us that access to land is one of the biggest challenges they face in establishing and growing their own farming operation,” said Krysta Harden, agriculture deputy secretary.

The USDA’s microloan program isn’t new—in fact, the program has been around for three years. In the past, the program has provided farmers and ranchers with operating costs like feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses. With this program expansion, farmers can get financial assistance with farm land and building purchases, as well as soil and water conservation improvements. 

“USDA is making it easier for new farmers to hit the ground running and get access to the land that they need to establish their farms or improve their property,” said Harden. 

The application process has been streamlined, eligibility requirements have been expanded, and smaller real estate loans can be organized more quickly. Qualified farm operators can be issued microloans up to $50,000 in value directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). 

Since 2013, 16,800 low-interest loans, adding up to more than $373 million, have been granted through the microloan program. 70% of those granted have gone to new farmers.

For more information, visit the FSA’s website.

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