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USDA expands microloans to help farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans will be especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S...

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U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans will be especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations.

"USDA is making it easier for new farmers to hit the ground running and get access to the land that they need to establish their farms or improve their property," said agriculture deputy secretary Krysta Harden.

Microloans have helped farmers and ranchers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment and living expenses since 2013. Seventy percent of loans have gone to new farmers.

Microloans will be available to also help with farm land and building purchases and soil and water conservation improvements. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers, and can be issued to the applicant directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).

To learn more about the FSA microloan program, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans , or contact a local FSA office. To find the nearest office location, visit offices.usda.gov.

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