Beginning farmers receive FSA loans

Beginning farmers receive FSA loans
Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Farm Loan Program Division has approved 1,212 loans to South Dakota family farmers and ranchers or a total of $104,905,843 for FY07 ,which began on Oct. 1, 2006. Of this amount 585 loans went to beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged applicants for a total of $37,825,254.

FSA provides direct and guaranteed loans to beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged individuals who are unable to obtain financing from commercial credit sources. Each fiscal year, FSA targets a portion of its direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating funds to beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged individuals.

A beginning farmer or rancher is an individual or entity who (1) has not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years; (2) meets the loan eligibility requirements of the program to which he/she is applying; (3) substantially participates in the operation; and (4) for FO loan purposes, does not own a farm greater than 30 percent of the average-sized farm in the county. All applicants for farm ownership loans must have participated in the business operation of a farm for at least three years. If the applicant is an entity, all members must be related by blood or marriage, and all stockholders in a corporation must be eligible beginning farmers.

A socially disadvantaged (SDA) farmer, rancher or agricultural producer is one of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of his or her identity as a member of the group without regard to his or her individual qualities. SDA groups are women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Please contact your local FSA office at 624-7060 for more details and assistance in applying.

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