USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director Dick Deschamps reminds interested applicants that Montana FSA offers loans for farmers and ranchers to purchase farmland and finance agricultural operations, with certain funding specifically targeted to Socially Disadvantaged (SDA) and beginning farmers and ranchers.
The Montana FSA, a national leader in farm loans, makes two different types of loans, direct and guaranteed. Farm ownership loans or farm operating loans may be obtained as direct loans for a maximum of up to $300,000. Guaranteed loans, loans made by a commercial lender where FSA acts as guarantor, can reach a maximum indebtedness of $1,214,000.
In addition to ownership and operating loans, Montana FSA is now offering the Land Contract Guarantee Program which is designed to encourage farmers to sell their property to beginning and SDA farmers and ranchers through the use of seller financing. For farm loan purposes, SDA groups are Women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
“Montana FSA provided 287 direct loans totaling more than $28.2 million in fiscal year 2011,” Deschamps said. “Montana FSA also provided 207 guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans totaling $56.4 million to Montana farmers and ranchers. Of Montana FSA's $84.7 million loan portfolio of direct and guaranteed loans, 49.7 percent, or more than $42 million, were made to beginning or SDA farmers and ranchers.”
For detailed information on loan eligibility or the different loan programs available, contact your local FSA county office to setup an appointment with a farm loan officer and visit the state FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/mt.