For Immediate Release
January 31, 2012
Ethel Truly, Communications Coordinator
Jackson, Miss., Jan. 31, 2012 - Women and minority farmers and ranchers interested in buying and operating family-sized farms may be eligible for loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), according to Michael R. Sullivan, Mississippi FSA State Executive Director.
"The Farm Service Agency is interested in promoting greater involvement in farming and ranching by women and minorities. Each year, we reserve a portion of our farm loan funds especially for applicants from these groups," said Sullivan.
According to FSA Farm Loan Chief John Porter, the loans available to women and minorities are the same as those available for other borrowers. "In the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2011, Mississippi Farm Loan Programs made 114 loans totaling more than $6,735,000 to women and minorities," said Porter.
Applicants must be primarily and directly engaged in farming and ranching on family-size operations. In addition to being members of a "socially disadvantaged" group, applicants under this program must meet all requirements for FSA's regular farm loan program assistance. For example, such applicants must:
- have a satisfactory history of meeting credit obligations;
- have sufficient education, experience and/or training to demonstrate the managerial ability necessary for a reasonable prospect of success;
- be a citizen or legal resident alien of the United States or certain territories and protectorates;
- be unable to obtain credit elsewhere at reasonable rates and terms to meet actual needs; and
- possess the legal capacity to incur loan obligations.
A socially disadvantaged applicant is one of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their membership in the group without regard to their individual qualities. For purposes of this program, socially disadvantaged groups are Alaskan Natives, African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders and women.
Sullivan encourages those interested to contact a Farm Service Agency office for detailed information about the Socially Disadvantaged Applicant loan program.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).