Farm Service Agency Offering Grants
The North Carolina Farm Service Agency has announced the availability of funds targeting socially disadvantaged individuals interested in buying or operating a family-size farm in fiscal year 2009.
"This special financing is for people who have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender inequality without regard to their individual qualities," said William Rhodes, farm loan manager for the Moore and Montgomery County FSA Farm Loan Program. "SDA members include women, African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, Asian and Pacific islanders and Alaskan natives."
The SDA program provides direct and guaranteed assistance in the form of farm operating and farm ownership loans. Direct loans are made to applicants from FSA. Guaranteed loans are issued by lending institutions, but typically 90 or 95 percent of the loan is guaranteed by FSA.
Operating loans may be used to buy livestock, equipment, feed, seed and other business related expenses. Repayment terms run from one to seven years.
Ownership loans provide capital to buy or enlarge a farm, construct or improve buildings, promote soil and water conservation and pay closing costs. Direct ownership loan terms are up to 40 years. Guaranteed loan terms are established by the lender.
FSA officials say that qualified candidates are provided information and assistance to develop sound management practices, analyze problems and utilize available resources essential for successful farming operations to cope with the changing agricultural environment.
Approval is not automatic. Individuals must be U.S. citizens with a satisfactory history of meeting credit obligations, have sufficient education, training or experience managing or operating a farm, possess legal capacity to incur debt and be unable to obtain credit elsewhere.
In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, North Carolina Farm Loan Programs made 99 SDA loans totaling more than $14 million. This was 19 percent of the total loans made and 18 percent of the total dollars in loans.
Interested individuals can call the Moore-Montgomery County FSA office at 947-5104 for more information. The local office is in the Moore County Agriculture Center on Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage.
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