Working With The USDA
Get acquainted with May Vu, an experienced farmer in Fresno California as she explores all the opportunities that the USDA provides. The USDA has several programs that provide support for agricultural careers such as loan programs, disaster relief, irrigation, and operations among others. To become eligible for these programs you must register with the USDA and in some cases the FSA as well.
The USDA offers a variety of loans to assist or helps jump start your agricultural career. The USDA direct loan program includes Farm Ownership (FO), Farm Operating (OL), Microloan (ML), and Emergency Loans (EM). The Farn Ownership Loan is a maximum amount of $300,000 to buy and develop your farm. The Repayment for the FO loan varies up to 40 years. The Farm Operating Loan provides $300,000 to purchase livestock, poultry, equipment and pay for annual expenses such as seeds and farm chemicals. The repayment period for the OL is up to 7 years. The Microloan provides an amount of $35,000 to purchase livestock, poultry, seed and farm chemicals/ supplies. The final direct loan offered by the USDA is the Emergency Loan. The EM is a loan that goes up to $500,000 to restore or replace property, pay off production cost and in some cases refinance debt. The repayment period is 1-40 years depending on the loan conditions.
Another funding opportunity the USDA offers is their Guaranteed Loan program. Under this program, the Guaranteed Operating (G-OL) loan is available along with The Guaranteed conservation Loan (G-CL). The G-OL offers the same as the Direct OL loan, expect it has a minuum amount of $1,302,000 with repayment up to 7 years. The G-CL allows for the implementation of any practice plans approved by the NCRS with the maximum amount of $1,302,000.
The USDA is committed to the rural development and has implemented programs provide technical support and promote economic growth. Some of the plans to achieve the USDA's goal are The Value-added Producer Grant, Renewable Energy Assitance Program (REAP), National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Agricultural Water Enhance Program (AWEP), Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), and the Conservation Security Program (CSP). Each of these programs assists agriculture and agriculture careers in development an growth.
The USDA understand the risk involving agricultural and has created The Risk Management Agency (RMA) to combat threats. There are three divisions inside the RMA which are insurance, product management, and risk compliances. The RMA provides crop insurance through private insurance companies. To see a list of insurance companies visit www3.RMA.usda.gov/apps/agents.