Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture discussion of agricultural lending policies could greatly benefit small farmers, many of whom often have a difficult time acquiring access to credit.
Earlier this week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack lauded the USDA’s success in expanding farmers’ access to credit, grants, and farm loans. The major increase in farm and operating loans has helped the agricultural sector thrive. The farm sector is already one of the most successful parts of the American economy, which, as a whole, is still reeling from the global recession.
In order to continue this growth, Vilsack stated that the USDA would need to be able to flexibly adapt to changes in the farm industry, particularly the growth of smaller, local farmers. USDA efforts to reconnect consumers with local farmers and the growth of the urban farming movement all suggest that USDA credit needs to be applied more broadly than to traditional agribusinesses.
“Over the past three years, we have expanded farm and operating loans to Americans from all backgrounds to help raise a new crop of producers across the country,” Vilsack said. “As we expand options in agriculture, we’re seeing a new vibrancy across the countryside as younger people-many of whom are now involved in local and regional production-pursue livelihoods in farming, raising food for local consumption. By leveraging USDA’s lending programs for beginning farmers and ranchers and smaller producers, we’re helping to rebuild and revitalize our rural communities.”
To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting www.farmloans.com.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer