by Lisa Forburger, CED
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) developed the Microloan (ML) program to better serve the unique financial operating needs of beginning, niche and small family farm operations.
FSA offers applicants a Microloan designed to help farmers with credit needs of $35,000 or less.
The loan features a streamlined application process built to fit the needs of new and smaller producers.
This loan program will also be useful to specialty crop producers and operators of community supported agriculture (CSA).
Eligible applicants can apply for a maximum amount of $35,000 to pay for initial start-up expenses such as hoop houses to extend the growing season, essential tools, irrigation and annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing, and distribution expenses. As financing needs increase, applicants can apply for a regular operating loan up to the maximum amount of $300,000 or obtain financing from a commercial lender under FSA's Guaranteed Loan Program.
Individuals interested in applying for a microloan or would like to discuss other farm loan programs available, should contact the Palo Alto County FSA office to setup an appointment with a Ron Matz, who is the Farm Loan Manager for this county.
The office phone number is 712 852 3386.