Hey farmers, have you ever heard of the Farm Storage Facility Loan program from USDA? It has recently been expanded, with more emphasis on the needs of small farmers, and fruit and vegetable producers. Here’s the deal:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility Loan Program. This program, which provides low-interest financing to agricultural producers, has been expanded as part of a broader effort to help small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. It provides low-interest loans for building or upgrading permanent facilities to store grains, oilseeds, hay, honey, fruits, vegetables, and more. Barns, bins, and cold storage facilities are among the qualified types of facilities. Over the past 13 years more than 30,000 loans have been issued through this program.
The expansion increases the kinds of equipment that can be purchased by vegetable and fruit farmers. Wash stations, sorting bins and many other types of equipment in several categories are now eligible. USDA suggests that this will help “small and mid-sized operations, and specialty crop fruit and vegetable growers… [with] access to needed capital for a variety of supplies”.
Juan M. Garcia, a Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator says that “The Farm Storage and Facility Loan program has helped American farmers and ranchers to finance on-farm storage for almost 13 years”. “We anticipate these changes will increase the number of individuals who qualify for these loans and help them access new market opportunities”, he adds.
Changes to the program were issued through an official notice sent to state and county FSA offices. They are effective immediately.
Learn more about the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program and how to apply Here. Or you can visit your FSA County office to ask about this and other programs.
You can also get information about all of the resources and tools that are now available to small and mid-sized farmers from the USDA including information about access to capital, risk management, food safety, and locating market opportunities on USDA’s Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage.