The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has a portion of its farm loan program funds specifically set aside for minority, women and beginning farmers and ranchers according to Jeff Peterson, Senior Farm Loan Officer in Chehalis. “This year, loan funds are also targeted for military veterans,” said Peterson. “While FSA farm loans are available to all qualified applicants, by setting aside funds it ensures farmers and ranchers that have traditionally had difficulty financing farm operations will receive a portion of available funds.”
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 4 percent. Special down payment programs are available for participation with a commercial lender. For rates and terms and down payment requirements, please contact the local FSA office.
Direct operating loans may be made for one to seven years with a current interest rate of 2 percent, which is subject to change.
The FSA guaranteed loans are made by banks or other lenders 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 Farm Service Agency programs contact county U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency offices or check the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/wa.