Farm Service Agency Allocates Funds for Minorities and Women

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has a portion of its farm loan program funds specifically set aside for minority and women producers announced Judy Olson, State Executive Director. "While FSA farm loans are available to all qualified applicants, by setting aside funds specifically for minorities and women, it ensures that they will receive a portion of available funds," said Olson.

Loan funds can be used to purchase farms, livestock and equipment. They may also be used to operate the farm, build or repair farm buildings, pay for soil and water conservation practices, and in some cases refinance debts. FSA offers both direct and guaranteed loans

For direct loans made by FSA to purchase a farm the terms may extend to 40 years with a current interest rate of 3.875%. Special programs are available for participation with a commercial ag lender. For a list of lenders, please contact the local FSA office.

Direct operating loans may be made for one to seven years with a current interest rate of 2.50%, which is subject to change. If the rate goes above 5.00%, these loans could be made at a rate as low as 5.00%, depending on a farm operation's cash flow.

The FSA guaranteed loans are made by banks or other lenders, who participate in the USDA guaranteed loan program, for which FSA guarantees up to 90 percent of any loss. The guaranteed loan program includes both operating and real estate loan programs.

For additional information concerning these programs in Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, S. King, Kitsap, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston and Wahkiakum counties, contact the FSA loan staff, at (360) 748-0083 ext. 2 at the Farm Service Agency, 1554 Bishop Rd Ste. 100, Chehalis WA 98532.