Dale S Dugan Jr., farm loan manager for USDA/Farm Service Agency in Petersburg, recently announced that the agency provided $15.1 million in direct and guaranteed loans to 342 family farmers in West Virginia during the 2013 fiscal year.
"Though not a record setting year like the 18.8 million from a few years ago, it was still a busy and good year for helping family farms," Dugan said.
The local Petersburg office serving five counties, including Grant, Hardy, Pendleton, Randolph and Tucker, made a total of 19 loans, totaling $670, 300.
This funding statewide included more than $2.38 in loans for 79 Socially Disadvantaged Applicants borrowers and $7.46 in loans for 163 beginning farmers. For purposes of this program, socially disadvantaged groups include women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
Beginning farmers include those that have farmed less than 10 years. The Petersburg office in five counties accounted for $413,500.00 dollars in loans to 11 socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers combined
FSA makes loans to purchase and operate family size farms. Loan funds can be used to finance livestock, farm equipment, annual operating expenses and most other farm-related expenses. Interest rates vary from 1.875 percent to 4.125 percent, depending on the loan type.
Applicants must meet eligibility requirements which are outlined on the agency website at www.fsa.usda.gov. Anyone having questions may contact their local FSA office or call 1-304-257-4702 ext. 2 to obtain information or to schedule an appointment with a loan officer.
Dugan noted, "Ask your local bank about the FSA guarantee loan program. Applicants may want to make plans for the New Year and make their requests early as money is available on a first-come, first-serve basis."
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272(voice), or 202-720-6382 (TDD).