Earlier this week, U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new microloan program from USDA. Wisconsin Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Brad Pfaff says this is a great opportunity for those in agriculture and those who want to get into agriculture. “For individuals who are seeking to get into that value-added specialty niche market, the local food opportunity. Or an opportunity for someone who has always wanted to get into production agriculture but for some reason was not able to pursue that dream.”
The loans can also be used to fund transition to organic production filling the void left when organic transition payments were not included when the farm bill was extended on January 1st.
The program is basically a modification and simplification of the traditional operating loans from FSA with up to $35,000 available at a 1.25 percent annual rate and a seven-year payback. Further details are available from your local FSA office.