Fact Sheet from the USDA Farm Service Agency
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees loans to beginning farmers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial lenders. Each fiscal year, FSA targets a portion of its direct and guaranteed farm ownership (FO) and operating loan (OL) funds to beginning farmers.
A beginning farmer is an individual or entity who:
(Note: All applicants for direct FO loans must have participated in the business operations of a farm for at least three years of the ten years prior to the date the application is submitted.)
If the applicant is an entity, all members must be related by blood or marriage, and all entity members must be eligible beginning farmers.
FSA has a special loan program to assist socially disadvantaged (SDA) and beginning farmers in purchasing a farm. Retiring farmers may use this program to transfer their land to future generations.
Beginning farmers may choose to participate in a joint financing arrangement. With this arrangement, FSA lends up to 50 percent of the amount financed, and another lender provides 50 percent or more. The applicant will use funds from the joint financing arrangement along with FSA funds for any authorized FO purpose. The interest rate is 2 percent less than the direct FO rate but not lower than 2.5 percent. The term of the loan will not exceed 40 years or the useful life of the security.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal and, where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited activities will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, write to teh address below or if you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint, please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complain of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter by mail to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax at (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA is an equal opportunity employer.