Adrian J. Polansky, State Executive Director of the USDA Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that the FSA is reaching out to minority and women farmers who want to purchase or operate a family-size farm.
“Each year, FSA targets a portion of its farm loan funding for socially disadvantaged applicants (SDA)”, Polansky said. The targeted funds are available to socially disadvantaged applicants who include minority farmers, women farmers, as well as beginning farmers.
For FSA farm loan purposes, FSA defines an SDA person as one of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. For additional information regarding FSA loans to minority or women farmers, please visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ks.
A beginning farmer or rancher is defined as someone who:
- Has not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years
- Does not own a farm or ranch greater than 30 percent of the median size farm
- Meets the loan eligibility requirements of the program to which he/she is applying
- Substantially participates in the operation; and
- If applying for a farm ownership loan, must have participated in a farm for at least three years
Polansky said that “while funding is targeted for loans to socially disadvantaged applicants and beginning farmers, loan approval is neither automatic nor guaranteed.” Polansky stated that “in Fiscal Year 2013, Kansas obligated $9,104,655 for a total of 135 loans to qualified farmers under the Socially Disadvantaged Persons Loan Program. We also obligated $46,323,649.62 for a total of 418 loans to qualified farmers under the Beginning Farmer Program.”
“Applicants seeking credit through FSA must meet certain eligibility criteria,” Polansky said. FSA applicants must be U.S. citizens, have a satisfactory history of meeting credit obligations, have sufficient education, training or experience managing or operating a farm, possess legal capacity to incur debt; and be unable to obtain credit elsewhere.
Traditional operating loans may be used to purchase livestock, equipment, feed, seed or pay other business related expenses. Operating loans are usually repaid in one to seven years.
Ownership loans are available to provide capital to purchase or enlarge a farm, construct or improve buildings, promote soil and water conservation and pay closing costs. Direct ownership loan terms are up to 40 years.
For additional information, contact your local Farm Service Agency at the county USDA Service Center nearest you.