04-14-2020 in Article

There are opportunities in the Iowa livestock industry and the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers continues to receive inquiries from farmers – many from young people wanting to get into farming – but weren’t sure where to start or how to secure financing to make their dream of farming a reality.  The Coalition has also heard from many well-established livestock farmers looking for assistance to diversify their farms due to low commodity prices and relatively high land costs.

If you’re looking into securing a loan for your farm, you may want to call your local FSA office and have a conversation with them.  By providing access to credit, the US Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Farm Loan Programs offer opportunities for family-sized farmers and ranchers to:

  • Start, improve, expand, transition, market, and strengthen family farming and ranching operations
  • Beginning farmers, racial and ethnic minority farmers and women producers
  • Value-added, direct sale, organic, and specialty crop operations
  • Urban farmers and roof-top producers
  • Operations using alternative farming methods such as hydroponics, aeroponics, vertical farming, and freight container farming

To access the variety of loans FSA offers, click on the highlighted title of each loan type.

Direct Operating Loans are used to purchase items such as livestock and feed; farm equipment; fuel, farm chemicals, insurance, and family living expenses; make minor improvements or repairs to buildings and fencing; and general farm operating expenses.

Microloans are operating loans designed to meet the needs of small and beginning farmers, non-traditional, specialty crop and niche type operations by easing some requirements and offering less paperwork.

Direct Farm Ownership Loans are used to purchase or enlarge a farm or ranch, construct a new or improve existing farm or ranch buildings, and for soil and water conservation and protection purposes.

Minority and Women Farmers and Ranchers loans support the full participation of minority and women family farmers in FSA’s farm loan programs by targeting a portion of its direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loan funds for minority and women farmers to buy and operate a farm or ranch.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers loans provide credit opportunities to eligible family farm and ranch operators and owners who have been in business less than 10 years.

Emergency Loans help farmers and ranchers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters or quarantine.

FSA provides a guidebook that simplifies information on the types of farm loans available; how to apply for a guaranteed loan, direct loan, or land contract guarantee; what you can expect once you submit your application; and most importantly, your rights and responsibilities as an FSA customer. Click here to access the guidebook.

If you have questions about starting or growing your livestock farm, visit supportfarmers.com or contact the Coalition at 800.932.2436 to arrange a no cost, confidential farm visit.

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