Farm Service Agency (FSA) - Farm Loan Programs
Brian Gossling will present on a new micro-loan program as well as other farm loan programs offered through Iowa State Farm Service Agency.
FSA's loan programs are a vital part of the broad array of USDA programs that support agriculture and rural America. Farm Loan Programs are administered through local field offices. FSA has a diverse portfolio of loan products that cover most farm financing needs. Through FSA's direct loan programs, farmers borrow directly from the Federal government at rates and repayment terms designed to help the operation increase profitability and build financial strength. FSA's direct loan portfolio in Iowa is currently about $477 million, including about $300 million in loans to beginning farmers.
FSA also has guaranteed loan programs which allow us to partner with banks, Farm Credit, and other lenders in delivering credit. Guaranteed loans mirror traditional loans, but are guaranteed by FSA to allow the lender more flexibility in meeting a farm operation's financing needs. Iowa FSA's guaranteed loan portfolio is currently about $650 million.
FSA takes great pride in being the lender of first opportunity. Many of our programs target beginning farmers, as well as other groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in production agriculture, including women and minority farmers. Similarly, while we are heavily involved in financing Iowa's traditional farming enterprises, we take an active role in providing financing opportunities for nontraditional operations, including fruit and vegetable producers, as well niche enterprises. FSA specializes in providing a comprehensive financing program, including not only loan products, but assistance with financial management and farm planning.
FSA recently launched the Microloan program. Microloans are designed for beginning and small farmers with traditional, niche and specialty operations. The loans are limited to $35,000 with the intent of requiring less paperwork and financial analysis than our traditional loan programs. The application process will be streamlined for the applicant and FSA and the program is designed to allow more flexibility, thereby allowing more operations an opportunity to use the program.