Microloan gains footing; answers need for faster, easier credit
Throughout my tenure as State Executive Director for the Iowa Farm Service Agency, I have met several small and beginning farmers and ranchers, military veterans and disadvantaged producers interested in making a living in production agriculture. For many, the high cost of purchasing land and equipment can be prohibitive, compelling newcomers and those struggling against odds to take risks to finance their dreams by relying on credit cards and personal loans with high interest rates.
I am keenly aware, too, that the average age of our farmers and ranchers is increasing. I am concerned about where the next generation of farmers and ranchers will come from.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture understands the needs of these small, beginning and specialty crop producers. Through the FSA’s Farm Loan Programs division, the department responded to their needs by developing a new microloan program that will provide up to $35,000 to help bolster these producers during their start-up years.
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