Improved USDA Financing Options for Produce Farmers
August 29, 2015
Adapted from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Blog:
Improved Financing Options Available for Produce Farmers!
The USDA is improving federal financing options available for cold storage and handling facilities and equipment. With new food safety regulations coming down the pike later this year, farmers across the country are bracing themselves for key changes they will be required to make to their farms, especially if they grow fruit and vegetables.
The Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest loans for farmers to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities, primarily grains and oilseeds, but also including fruit and vegetable cold-storage, washing, packing, and handling buildings and equipment.
Recent changes have made it easier for diversified farmers — especially those serving local and regional markets — to secure low-interest financing for their cold storage and packing needs. These new changes at FSA will ensure that produce farmers have improved access to all of USDA’s loan programs and are better able to finance equipment that is not covered under the FSFL program. So if you have tried unsuccessfully to finance such equipment before with a FSA loan, you might try again.
Check out NSAC’s Grassroots Guide for more info on the commodities covered as well as information on other USDA programs.
I am always interested in helping you navigate USDA programs. And I am interested in your experiences in using them. – Deirdre, Grants Advisor