USDA Discusses Microloans

The US Department of Agriculture and Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a new USDA program designed to deliver microloans to small farmers and small farm operations.

The past several decades, the number of small farms in the United States has been consistently on the decline. With more and more agricultural production being concentrated in the hands of major agribusinesses, many small farmers are finding it difficult to compete with larger and larger corporate giants.

In addition to the difficulty competing, many small farmers have expressed concern about their ability to receive USDA funds and federal farm aid. Many farm groups have complained that federal farm subsidies disproportionately benefit wealthy corporations rather than small family farms.

In an effort to address the difficulties facing small farmers, the USDA has announced a series of new microloans available to small farmers totaling no more than $35,000.

“I have met several small and beginning farmers, returning veterans and disadvantaged producers interested in careers in farming who too often must rely on credit cards or personal loans with high interest rates to finance their start-up operations,” Vilsack said in a statement. “By further expanding access to credit to those just starting to put down roots in farming, USDA continues to help grow a new generation of farmers, while ensuring the strength of an American agriculture sector that drives our economy, creates jobs, and provides the most secure and affordable food supply in the world.”

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