Just saw some info on this new USDA-FSA program offering 'microloans' up to $35K for young, beginning and/or niche farmers looking for funding either for startup or operations. Sounds like the signup process has been "streamlined," too, and it takes younger and beginning farmers' relative lack of experience into account in the application process.
So, anybody using these microloans or think it'd be a worthwhile pursuit? Here's a little more info on it.
Being a beginning farmer who has limited resources I honestly think that this would really be a good idea for those like me to pursue. I know it would help me better my operation by allowing me to acquire more land, expand my herd number, and acquire some machinery.
I think its a great program. I received what you might call a microloan from FSA when i was 16. It was 5000 dollars and i used it to purchase some heifers. It worked out really well. I remember at the time they were begging me to get others interested in it.
I've never had any luck with FSA. I started farming solo 3 years ago and approached FSA for operating credit after being turned down by multiple banks. Putting myself through college I had and still have a mountain of student loans and they said my traditional corn-soybean rotation plan that everyone does around here was "unfeasible." Wouldn't work with me at all. I kept approaching different banks and finally found a local one willing to give me a shot. I'd recommend trying to develop a relationship with a small local bank. Perhaps this new micro-loan program is better though. Anythings worth a shot. Best of luck.
Yeah, i think experiences vary case by case. Ive had really good luck with them. I worked with them for the past 6 years. Ive gotten a land loan, and two equipment loans through them and besides the headache of paperwork its been a good relationship. Each office is different, especially each loan officer. Like i mentioned before they were really looking to finance young beginning guys like us in our area.
I think you nailed it. I've only done business with one loan officer in our local office, but I'd heard that the one they had before wouldn't hardly loan money to Bill Gates. The one we have now is very easy to get along with and she acts like she is pretty willing to work with you to make things pencil out.
Looks pretty good to me, I'm going to check this out, thanks for the info Jeff.
Hey, everybody. Great responses here. I'd love to do a little bigger story on this topic. If you wouldn't mind, shoot me a message via the network here, or you can send me an email, describing your experience. If you don't mind, I'd like to use it to create a story more about individuals' experience.
In our experience with both the FSA and the local bank, I think it all depends on the loan officer. Our local FSA officer is a nice guy, wouldn't hurt a fly, but I don't think he's real interested in loaning money. On the other hand, the local bank is very pro young farmer and have been really easy to work with. I think it all goes back to the individual who is willing to go out on a limb and help the young guy out. Plus, the local bank requires about 1/10th of the paperwork!