Farmers needing assistance with their U.S. Department of Agriculture direct loan application packages can get help from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
“Area Extension associates throughout the state are ready to help,” sasid Henry English, UAPB Small Farm Program director, who suggested farmers make every effort to submit their loan packages early, as funding is on a first-come, first-served basis. If an application is denied for whatever reason, farmers will know early enough to successfully seek other options, English said.
Completing the 20-plus page package can be daunting, English said. His first suggestion was to be sure farmers are using a current packet. Some Farm Service Agency forms may have changed.
Associates will help farmers develop the balance sheet and the projected/actual income and expenses for their operations. Necessary to complete the balance sheet is a list of all debts and their amounts. Farmers should bring this information with them along with their expense and income records from 2012. These will be used to complete the production and financial histories. Associates will also go over the checklist with farmers to ensure that their application packages are complete.
In addition to many FSA forms, a credit report is necessary. If an item is missing or is incomplete, farmers have 14 days to submit the requested information. Failure to do so results in the application being withdrawn, and the farmer must start over.
“When farmers come in, they should bring their records with them,” English said.
For assistance with a loan application packet, contact your area Extension associate: Arlanda Jacobs (870) 714-5531 for Lee, Phillips, St. Francis, Arkansas and Monroe counties; Travis Collins (870) 355-7007 for Chicot, Drew, Ashley and Desha counties; and Stephan Walker (870) 575-7237 for Jefferson, Desha, Lincoln and Pulaski counties. Those elsewhere in the state can contact English at (870) 575-7246.