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Welcome to the South Carolina State Website

 
Harry L. Ott, Jr., State Executive Director, South Carolina Farm Service Agency

 
Harry L. Ott, Jr., State Executive Director
Harry L. Ott, Jr. comes to the Farm Service Agency directly from the South Carolina House of Representatives where he was the former Minority Leader. He was first elected to the state legislature in 1998 and went on to serve on the House Ways and Means and Public Utilities Review Committees. Mr. Ott has also served as President of the Calhoun County Farm Bureau, a state director of the South Carolina Farm Bureau, member and chair of the Calhoun County School District Board of Trustees, member of the Calhoun County Development Commission, and a Little League baseball coach. He graduated from Clemson University in 1974. Today he and his brother produce cotton, corn, and peanuts in Calhoun County where he and his family reside. He is a lifelong member of Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church. We look forward to the contributions he will make to FSA in South Carolina.

 
The 2008 farm bill has expired and FSA will be in a transition until Congress completes new program requirements and the President signs it into law. The process of implementing a new farm bill after enactment will take several months. There will be new regulations to write, handbook development, employee training, and software changes to be made before implementation.

 
FSA will be notifying you through our newsletter, FSA web site, and public news releases once the farm bill is passed and program sign-up is announced. FSA employees, throughout the State, look forward serving you again through the next farm bill.

 
Contact Us

 
South Carolina State FSA Office
1927 Thurmond Mall, Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29201-2375

 
Phone: (803) 806-3830

 
Fax: (855) 563-9305

 

 

 
In the Spotlight

 
Our State Committee

 
Robert Battle, Chairperson
Battle, of Nichols, South Carolina, has farmed for several years in the eastern part of the state. During the Clinton Administration, Battle served as chairman of the South Carolina FSA State Committee. In addition to his agricultural activities, Battle has significant community leadership experience.

 
E. Warren Dixon
Dixon, from Aynor, South Carolina, has spent his life farming in Horry County. In addition, he has previously served on the South Carolina FSA State Committee. Dixon is a respected leader in his community and participates in several local organizations.

 
Thomas J. Trantham
Trantham owns and operates a dairy in Pelzer, South Carolina. Trantham is known for his innovative feed production processes and has made significant contributions to conservation practices in the South Carolina dairy industry. His farm has been used in demonstrations on soil quality and erosion prevention projects.

 
Don C. Sharp III
Sharp is a row crop farmer from southern South Carolina. He has worked for decades on behalf of the farmers of the State. He has previously served as the Chairperson of the Allendale County Committee and continues to be active in local and state farming operations.

 
Mary Frances Koon
Koon owns a farm in Orangeburg County. Koon is active in several community projects and organizations.

 
In the News

 
The Farm Bill Fact Sheet is now “live” online at What’s in the 2014 Farm Bill for Farm Service Agency Customers?

 

 
USDA Finalizes New Microloan Program

 
Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small farmers, veterans, and disadvantaged producers

 
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2013 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000. The new microloan program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations. The microloan program will also provide a less burdensome, more simplified application process in comparison to traditional farm loans.

 
“I have met several small and beginning farmers, returning veterans and disadvantaged producers interested in careers in farming who too often must rely on credit cards or personal loans with high interest rates to finance their start-up operations,” said Vilsack. “By further expanding access to credit to those just starting to put down roots in farming, USDA continues to help grow a new generation of farmers, while ensuring the strength of an American agriculture sector that drives our economy, creates jobs, and provides the most secure and affordable food supply in the world.”

 
The new microloans, said Vilsack, represent how USDA continues to make year-over-year gains in expanding credit opportunities for minority, socially-disadvantaged and young and beginning farmers and ranchers across the United States. The final rule establishing the microloan program will be published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Federal Register.

 
Administered through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) Operating Loan Program, the new microloan program offers credit options and solutions to a variety of producers. FSA has a long history of providing agricultural credit to the nation’s farmers and ranchers through its Operating Loan Program. In assessing its programs, FSA evaluated the needs of smaller farm operations and any unintended barriers to obtaining financing. For beginning farmers and ranchers, for instance, the new microloan program offers a simplified loan application process. In addition, for those who want to grow niche crops to sell directly to ethnic markets and farmers markets, the microloan program offers a path to obtain financing. For past FSA Rural Youth Loan recipients, the microloan program provides a bridge to successfully transition to larger-scale operations.

 
Since 2009, USDA has made a record amount of farm loans through FSA—more than 128,000 loans totaling nearly $18 billion. USDA has increased the number of loans to beginning farmers and ranchers from 11,000 loans in 2008 to 15,000 loans in 2011. More than 40 percent of USDA’s farm loans now go to beginning farmers. In addition, USDA has increased its lending to socially-disadvantaged producers by nearly 50 percent since 2008.

 
Producers can apply for a maximum of $35,000 to pay for initial start-up expenses such as hoop houses to extend the growing season, essential tools, irrigation, delivery vehicles, and annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing, and distribution expenses. As their financing needs increase, applicants can apply for an operating loan up to the maximum amount of $300,000 or obtain financing from a commercial lender under FSA’s Guaranteed Loan Program.

 
USDA farm loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed, and supplies, or be to construct buildings or make farm improvements. Small farmers often rely on credit cards or personal loans, which carry high interest rates and have less flexible payment schedules, to finance their operations. Expanding access to credit, USDA’s microloan will provide a simple and flexible loan process for small operations.

 
Producers interested in applying for a microloan may contact their local Farm Service Agency office.

 
The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers.

 

 
USDA Finaliza Nuevo Programa de Micropréstamos

 
Micropréstamos de hasta $35,000 para ayudar a los pequeños agricultores, los veteranos, y los productores en desventaja

 
MEMPHIS, 15 de Enero de 2013—El Secretario de Agricultura Tom Vilsack anunció hoy un nuevo programa de micropréstamos del Departamento de Agricultura de EE.UU. (“U.S. Department of Agriculture” o USDA) diseñado para ayudar a las operaciones pequeñas y de familias, y a los agricultores principiantes y en desventaja económica a obtener préstamos de menos de $35,000. El objetivo del nuevo programa de micropréstamos es respaldar el progreso de productores durante los años que inician un nuevo negocio, proporcionando los recursos necesarios y mayor capital para que puedan llegar a graduarse al crédito comercial y expandir sus operaciones. Este nuevo programa de micropréstamos también ofrecerá un proceso de solicitud menos laborioso y más sencillo en comparación a los préstamos agrícolas tradicionales.

 
"He conocido a varios productores pequeños y principiantes, veteranos que regresan y productores en desventaja económica interesados en carreras en la agricultura, pero que necesitan recurrir demasiado a tarjetas de crédito o préstamos personales con altas tasas de interés para financiar sus nuevas operaciones", dijo Vilsack. "Al ampliar aún más el acceso al crédito para los que comienzan a echar raíces en la agricultura, el USDA sigue ayudando a crecer una nueva generación de agricultores, garantizando al mismo tiempo la solidez del sector de la agricultura estadounidense que impulsa nuestra economía, crea empleos y produce el suministro de alimento más seguro y asequible de todo el mundo".

 
Los micropréstamos nuevos, dijo Vilsack, representan un ejemplo más de cómo el USDA continúa año tras año expandiendo las oportunidades de crédito para las minorías, los que están en desventaja económica y para los agricultores y ganaderos jóvenes y principiantes de todo Estados Unidos. La norma final que establece el programa de micropréstamos será publicada en la edición del 17 de enero del Registro Federal.

 
Administrado a través del programa de préstamos de operación (“operating loan program” u OL) de la Agencia de Servicio Agrícola (“Farm Service Agency” o FSA) del USDA, el nuevo programa de micropréstamos ofrece opciones de crédito y soluciones a una gran variedad de productores. La FSA tiene una larga historia de conceder crédito agrícola a los agricultores y ganaderos de la nación a través de su programa de préstamos para operación. En una evaluación de sus programas, la FSA consideró las necesidades de las operaciones agrícolas más pequeñas y las barreras inesperadas en la búsqueda de financiamiento. Para los agricultores y ganaderos principiantes, por ejemplo, el nuevo programa de micropréstamos ofrecerá un proceso de solicitud de préstamo simplificado. Además, para aquellos que quieren cultivar productos nicho para vender directamente a los mercados étnicos y mercados de agricultores, el programa de micropréstamos ofrece un camino para obtener el financiamiento que necesitan. Para pasados destinatarios de préstamos de juventud rural (“Rural Youth Loan”), el programa de micropréstamos sirve de puente para una transición exitosa a operaciones de mayor escala.

 
Desde 2009, el USDA ha concedido una cantidad récord de préstamos agrícolas a través de la FSA - más de 128,000 préstamos por un total de casi $18 mil millones. El USDA ha aumentado el número de préstamos a los agricultores y ganaderos principiantes de 11,000 préstamos en 2008 a 15,000 préstamos en 2011. Más del 40 por ciento de los préstamos agrícolas del USDA ahora se otorgan a agricultores principiantes. Además, el USDA ha aumentado sus préstamos a los productores en desventaja económica en casi un 50 por ciento desde 2008.

 
Los productores pueden solicitar un máximo de $35,000 para pagar los gastos iniciales de abrir o iniciar una operación, gastos tales como casas de invernadero (“hoop houses”) para extender la temporada de cultivo, herramientas esenciales, equipo de riego, vehículos de reparto y gastos anuales tales como semillas, fertilizantes, servicios públicos, alquiler de la tierra, costo de comercialización, y los gastos de distribución. Al aumentar su necesidad de financiamiento, los productores pueden solicitar un préstamo de operación hasta un monto máximo de $300,000 u obtener financiamiento de un prestamista comercial bajo el programa de préstamos garantizados (“Guaranteed Loan Program”) de la FSA.

 
Los préstamos agrícolas del USDA se pueden utilizar para comprar tierras, ganado, equipo, alimentos, semillas e insumos, o para la construcción de edificios o hacer mejoras a la granja. Los pequeños agricultores a menudo dependen de las tarjetas de crédito o préstamos personales, que llevan altas tasas de interés y planes de pago mucho menos flexibles, para financiar sus operaciones. Ampliando acceso al crédito, los micropréstamos del USDA ofrecerán un proceso de préstamo simple y flexible para operaciones agrícolas pequeñas.

 
Los productores interesados en solicitar un micropréstamo pueden comunicarse con su oficina local de la Farm Service Agency.

 
La Administración de Obama, con el liderazgo del Secretario de Agricultura Vilsack, ha trabajado incansablemente para fortalecer la América rural, mantener una red de seguridad agrícola fuerte, y crear oportunidades para los agricultores y ganaderos. La Agricultura estadounidense está experimentando uno de sus períodos más productivos en su historia gracias a la productividad, adaptabilidad y el ingenio de nuestros productores agrícolas.

 
El Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos (USDA) es un proveedor de servicios, empleador y prestamista que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades para todos. Si usted quiere presentar una queja de discriminación, escriba a USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, o llame al (800) 795-3272 o al (202) 720-6382 para las personas con discapacidad auditiva.

 

 
Sign Up For FSA Fence Post for Daily Updates

 
The Farm Service Agency Fence Post is an online newsletter that is updated on an almost daily basis. It contains articles of interest on the agency's programs and departments, as well as success stories from the field. To access Fence Post, visit http://fsa.blogs.govdelivery.com/. Producers can sign up for weekly Fence Post updates by putting an email address in the box that says "Get Email Updates".

 
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Last Modified: 03/13/14 3:22:45 PM


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