Yes. FSA reserves loan money for two specific categories: under-represented groups and beginning farmers. The law requires FSA to reserve or target a portion of its direct and guaranteed operating and farm ownership loan funds for use exclusively by socially disadvantaged applicants (SDA). SDAs are classified in one or more of the following categories: women, African Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asians, and Pacific Islanders. In the farm ownership loan program, the percentage of loan funds targeted for SDAs is based upon the state percentage of the total rural population made up of SDA groups, and the statewide percentage of total farmers who are female. In the operating loan program, the target is determined by the statewide percentage of total farmers from the SDA minority group, and the statewide percentage of total farmers who are female.
The law also requires FSA to reserve or target loan funds for exclusive use by beginning farmers, as follows: Direct Operating, 50 percent; Guaranteed Operating, 40 percent; Direct Farm Ownership, 75 percent; Guaranteed Farm Ownership, 40 percent. Funds remain targeted for beginning farmers in the guaranteed programs until April 1 of each fiscal year. In the direct programs, funds are targeted for beginning farmers until September 1 of each fiscal year.