USDA Has New Tools for Beginning Producers

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Farm Service Agency Administrator Bruce Nelson Friday announced a new rule that expands loan opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, while also establishing a new Land Contract Guarantee Program.

The rule provides additional flexibility allowing FSA loan officers to consider all prior farming experience, including on-the-job training and formal education, when determining eligibility for FSA for farm operating and ownership loans.

It also expands a previous pilot program, the Land Contract Guarantee Program, from six states to all 50 states. This program is designed to encourage farmers and ranchers to sell their property to beginning and socially disadvantaged  farmers and ranchers through the use of seller financing.

The new rule enables landowners to sell their farmland to the next generation on a contract for deed with a 90-percent guarantee against losses to the seller. Alternatively, the agency can provide a guarantee of three years’ amortized loan installments, plus payment of real estate taxes and hazard insurance premiums for the same three-year period.

More information on the new Land Contract Guarantee Program and the other changes are available at local FSA offices nationwide. Information about Farm Loan Programs and FSA loan qualifications can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov.

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