Nationally, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers farm commodity, crop insurance, farm credit, and conservation programs for farmers through a network of state and county offices. FSA programs are primarily directed at agricultural producers or, in the case of loans, at those with farming experience.
The relationship with farmers goes back to the 1930's and the first agriculture acts establishing farm programs. Under the unique method of local administration that Congress set up at that time, farmers who are eligible to participate in Federal farm programs elect a three to five person county committee. This committee reviews county office operations and makes decisions on how the programs apply locally, giving farmers a say in how the Federal programs are applied in their county. This grassroots method of administration continues today.
For information about Farm Programs, please click on the program titles below:
For continuous signup information - contact your local service center office.
FSA has direct and guaranteed loan programs to help farmers who are temporarily unable to obtain private, commercial credit. Farmers who qualify, obtain their credit needs through the use of loan guarantees, where a local agricultural lender makes and services the loan, and FSA guarantees the loan up to a maximum of 95 percent. FSA also approves all loan guarantees and monitors and provides oversight of lenders' activities.
Applicants unable to qualify for a guaranteed loan may be eligible for a direct loan from FSA. Direct loans are made and serviced by FSA officials, who also provide borrowers with supervision and credit counseling. Funding for direct loans is limited, and applicants sometimes have to wait for funds to become available. To qualify for a direct farm ownership or operating loan, the applicant must be able to show sufficient repayment ability and pledge enough collateral to fully secure the loan.
For information about eligibility for Farm Programs and Farm Loan Programs, please click on the links below: