Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Producers needing assistance with creating a farm business plan or with their U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) direct loan application packet can get help from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Small Farm Program.
“Area Extension associates throughout the state are ready to help,” said Dr. Henry English, UAPB Small Farm Program director, who suggests that farmers make every effort to submit their loan packages early as funding is on a first-come, first-served basis. “If an application is denied for whatever reason, including a lack of funds, farmers will have time to successfully seek other options,” said Dr. English.
Farm or ranch business plans are for the producer, not only for bankers or lenders. The plan should identify how much money will be needed to run the operation and how much money the producer can expect to make on his/her operation. It should identify the cost per acre or cost per livestock animal and the producer’s break-even price.
Associates will help farmers develop a balance sheet and the projected/actual income and expenses for their operation. To complete the balance sheet, a list of all debts and their amounts is needed along with a list of assets and their estimated values. Farmers should bring this information with them along with their expenses, income records and average yields from 2017, 2016 and 2015. These will be used to complete the production and financial histories.
Associates will go over the Farm Service Agency (FSA) application package checklist with producers to insure their application packets are complete. Once submitted, if an item is missing, the producer will be contacted and have 20 days to submit the missing information. If not done so after 20 days, the producer will be contacted and given another 10 days to do so. Failure to do so will result in the application being withdrawn, and the producer must start over, said Dr. English.
To schedule an appointment, call your local Extension associate or the Small Farm Program office at (870) 575-7246. Extension associates include Kandi Williams – (903) 306-8663 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Miller and Sevier counties; Alexis Cole — (870) 630-2005 or email@example.com Cross, Crittenden, Lee, Phillips and St. Francis counties; Travis Collins – (870) 355-7007 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Ashley, Drew and Chicot counties; or Stephan Walker, multicounty agent, (870) 575-7237 or email@example.com, Cleveland, Dallas, Desha, Grant, Lincoln, Lonoke and Jefferson counties. Remember to bring all financial records with you.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of 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.