Funds allocated for minorities, women

CHEHALIS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has set aside a portion of its farm loan program funds for minority and women producers.

Loan funds can be used to purchase farms, livestock and equipment. They may also be used to operate the farm, build or repair farm buildings, pay for soil and water conservation practices, and in some cases refinance debts. FSA offers direct and guaranteed loans.

For direct loans made by FSA to purchase a farm, the terms may extend to 40 years with a current interest rate of 3.5 percent. Special programs are available for participation with a commercial lender.

Direct operating loans may be made for one to seven years with a current interest rate of 1.375 percent, which is subject to change. If the rate goes above 5 percent, these loans could be made at a rate as low as 5 percent, depending on the farm operation’s cash flow.

FSA-guaranteed loans are made by banks or other lenders for which FSA guarantees up to 90 percent of any loss. The guaranteed loan program includes operating and real estate loan programs.

For more information, contact Jeff Peterson, senior farm loan officer,  (360) 748-0083, ext. 2.


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