Farming funds available for socially disadvantaged

The Jefferson County Farm Service Agency Ag-Credit has announced the availability of funding for the Socially Disadvantaged individuals who want to purchase or operate a family-size farm.

This special financing is for people who have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender inequality without regard to their individual qualities. SDA members include women, African-Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Alaskan Natives.

This program provides direct and guaranteed assistance in the form of farm operating and farm ownership loans. Direct loans are made to applicants for FSA. Guaranteed loans are issued by lending institutions, but typically 90 or 95 percent of the loan is guaranteed by FSA if the loan fails.

Operating loans may be used to purchase livestock, equipment, feed, seed and other business-related expenses. Repayment terms run from one to seven years.

Ownership loans provide capital to purchase or enlarge a farm, construct or improve buildings, promote soil and water conservation and to pay closing costs. Direct ownership loan terms are up to 40 years. Guaranteed loan terms are established by the lender.

Qualified candidates are provided information and assistance to develop sound management practices, analyze problems and utilize available resources essential for successful farming operations to cope with the changing agricultural environment.

SDA applicants do not receive automatic approval. Individuals must be U.S. citizens with a satisfactory history of meeting credit obligations, have sufficient education, training or experience managing or operating a farm, possess legal capacity to incur debt and unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

The FSA Ag-Credit office is located at: 100 East 8th Ave, Federal Building Room 2603; Pine Bluff, AR 71601.

Details: (870) 534-3200 Ext. 2.