1.15.2013 Costa Announces New USDA Microloan Program

Washington, DC – Rep. Jim Costa announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a new microloan program to help small and family operations and socially-disadvantaged farmers obtain up to $35,000 in loans. The program aims to help small and beginning producers scale up their operations so they can build equity and gradually gain access to private, commercial credit.

“Access to low interest capital is one of the greatest obstacles for small and beginning farmers looking to start their own operations,” said Costa.“Programs such as these are critical to grow the next generation of farmers who will continue to produce the safest, healthiest foods in the world and drive our Valley economy.”   

The loan program will be operated by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) Operating Loan Program. Currently, more than 40 percent of the loans made by USDA go to small, beginning farmers. Since 2008, USDA has also increased loans to socially-disadvantaged farmers by over 50 percent.

Producers interested in applying for a microloan should contact their local Farm Service Agency office. Learn more about the microloan program changes here.