The USDA announced last week it is expanding the microloan program to include purchase of farmland, with an eye toward increasing land ownership opportunities for beginning farmers and underserved populations:
Many producers, especially new and underserved farmers, tell us that access to land is one of the biggest challenges they face in establishing and growing their own farming operation,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden in a press release. “USDA is making it easier for new farmers to hit the ground running and get access to the land that they need to establish their farms or improve their property.”
Since its inception three years ago, the microloan program has provided more than $373 million in low-interest loans to help farmers make small but significant purchases such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, and equipment. According to the USDA, seventy percent of the 16,800 loans have gone to small farmers. Now, the loan program will allow qualified producers to receive up to $50,000 to help with farm land and building purchases, as well as soil and water conservation improvements.
Learn more here.