INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Nov. 13, 2014 – Indiana Farm Service Agency State Executive Director, Julia A. Wickard, reminds farmers that the FSA borrowing limit for microloans increased on Nov. 7 from $35,000 to $50,000. Microloans offer borrowers a simplified lending process with less paperwork. Wickard said microloans help give applicants a “first opportunity” to farm or quickly expand existing operations.

Microloan Cap Grows to $50,000

Contact:
Donna Ferguson (317) 290-3315
donna.ferguson@in.usda.gov

Larger Loan Amount Offers Beginning Farmers Expanded Opportunities

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Nov. 13, 2014 – Indiana Farm Service Agency State Executive Director, Julia A. Wickard, reminds farmers that the FSA borrowing limit for microloans increased on Nov. 7 from $35,000 to $50,000. Microloans offer borrowers a simplified lending process with less paperwork. Wickard said microloans help give applicants a “first opportunity” to farm or quickly expand existing operations.

“This will help more people because of new flexibilities created by the 2014 Farm Bill,” Wickard said. “We’re especially excited in Indiana, because we want to encourage more beginning farmers and young people, especially those from historically underserved communities, to consider farming as a way to become independent businessmen and women. It’s a rewarding way to build or expand a family operation.”

The microloan change allows beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay. Microloans are part of USDA’s continued commitment to small and midsized farming operations.

To complement the microloan program, additional changes to FSA eligibility requirements will enhance beginning farmers’ access to land, a key barrier to entry level producers. FSA policies related to farm experience have changed so that other types of skills may be considered to meet the farming experience requirement for farm ownership loan eligibility. Operation or management of non-farm businesses, leadership positions while serving in the military or advanced education in an agricultural field will now count towards a portion of the experience applicants need to show when applying for farm ownership loans.

“If you want to comment on our changes to the microloan program and loan eligibility, you have an opportunity to share suggestions,” Wickard said. The comment period runs through Dec. 8, 2014.

Since 2010, FSA has made more than 165,000 loans totaling nearly $23 billion. More than 50 percent of USDA’s farm loans now go to beginning farmers. In addition, FSA has increased its lending to socially-disadvantaged producers by nearly 50 percent since 2010.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).