Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
At this time of year, food seems in the forefront. Many are thinking of sumptuous holiday dining while growers are thinking of how to provide the food so many Americans seem to take for granted.
One way growers manage is through loans. Growers use loans to operate as well as to purchase or improve their farms or ranches, said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).
Obtaining a loan is not always easy or automatic, continued Dr. English. One service available from the Small Farm Program is help with the paperwork associated with the loan application process. Some large farmers have an employee with such experience or they pay a consultant, but smaller growers do not have this luxury.
Smaller growers can use the loan application services provided by the UAPB Small Farm Program. Now is the time to call for an appointment, said Dr. English. Once growers have their appointment, they should get their records in order so they have all the information to be included in the application.
Growers should provide not only the name of the crops they plan to grow, but also the acreage to be devoted to each crop, yield data from three previous years to aid in making crop projections, three years of expenses associated with each crop and a balance sheet or the information needed to create one which includes all debts and assets.
Lacking some of this information should not deter beginning farmers, said Dr. English. The Extension associate will use county production data from the Cooperative Extension Service, said Dr. English.
When a producer submits an application to the Farm Service Agency, all items mentioned on a checklist, which can be found in the application package, should be included. If an item is missing or is incomplete, farmers have a limited time to submit the missing information. Failure to do so results in the application being withdrawn, and the farmer must start over. Associates will also go over the checklist with farmers to insure that their application packages are complete.
For assistance with a loan application packet, contact your area Extension associate: Alexis Cole (870) 630-2005 or firstname.lastname@example.org – St. Francis, Crittenden and Lee counties; Travis Collins (870) 355-7007 or Cityofeudora.email@example.com – Chicot, Drew, Ashley and Desha counties; Kandi Williams (903) 306-8663 or firstname.lastname@example.org – Howard, Little River, Miller, Hempstead and Lafayette counties; and Multi-County Agent Stephan Walker (870) 575-7237 or email@example.com – Jefferson, Desha, Lincoln and Pulaski counties. Those elsewhere in the state can contact Dr. English at (870) 575-7246.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.