Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
U.S. Department of Agriculture microloans are now available to buy and improve farmland, said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This should prove especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers and ranchers, veterans and producers with small and mid-sized farming operations, he said.
Many small farmers and ranchers, especially new and underserved ones, report that access to land is a major problem, and this should ease that, Dr. English said. Previously, microloans were only available for operating costs such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment and living expenses.
Microloans have proven to be extremely popular with their simplified application process. Thus far, the microloan program has provided more than 16,800 low interest loans, totaling $373 million to U.S. producers. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers and can be issued to the applicant directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Contact your local FSA office for more information.