Who Is Eligible? The Farm Service Agency (FSA) developed the Microloan (ML) program to better serve the unique financial operating needs of beginning, niche, and the smallest of family farm operations. The program will offer more flexible access to credit and will serve as an attractive loan alternative for smaller farming operations like specialty crop producers and operators of community supported agriculture (CSA). ML program applicants will need to have some farm experience; however, FSA will consider an applicant’s small business experience as well as any experience with a self-guided apprenticeship as a means to meet the farm management requirement. Please see program website or contact your local FSA Office for full eligibility requirements.
What Activities Are Eligible? Microloans can be used for all approved operating expenses as authorized by the FSA Operating Loan Program, including but not limited to:
- Initial start-up expenses;
- Annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents;
- Marketing and distribution expenses;
- Family living expenses;
- Purchase of livestock, equipment, and other materials essential to farm operations;
- Minor farm improvements such as wells and coolers.
- Hoop houses to extend the growing season;
- Essential tools;
- Delivery vehicles.
How much? Eligible applicants may obtain a microloan for up to $35,000.
Contact: Contact your local FSA Office.