In a recent post, we presented information about the potential development of a microloan program that the USDA has proposed. This is something that beginning farmer advocates have been promoting for a long time. It could help many beginning and aspiring farmers to get a leg up. The Comment period on this rule is now open, so please help support it's development by letting USDA know that it could be an important tool to help aspiring farmers get a start, and help new farmers to develop their enterprises.
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) expands and improves access to credit through the new microloan program. This program allows credit to be accessible to help small and family farms progress through their start-up years with needed resources, while building capacity, increasing equity, and providing the opportunity to graduate to commercial credit. Under the proposal, producers who need a loan for less than $35,000 may apply through a simplified, streamlined process by cutting paperwork in half. The improvements aim to offer a more efficient processing time for smaller loans, adding flexibility to some of the eligibility requirements and reduce the application requirements. More details will be available once the program is finalized. Currently this program is under public comment if you are interested in learning more about the program the proposed rule may be viewed at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA//federalNotices?area=home&subject=lare&topic=frd-pi or through the federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov you can follow the online instructions for submitting comments. You can also contact the local FSA office to obtain a copy of the regulations.