News To Use: Microloans

Cash flow is manure on the fields of your business.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently increased the FSA borrowing limit for microloans to $50,000. Microloans offer borrowers simplified lending with less paperwork.

Micro-niches opportunities abound to connect the earth and the consumer.

Micro-niches opportunities abound to connect the earth and the consumer.

Barn boy. Photo by Chris Brunson
To complement the microloan program additional changes to FSA eligibility requirements will enhance beginning farmers’ access to land, a key barrier to entry level producers.

A city market that combines live music, producers of goods and seasonal foods.

A city market that combines live music, producers of goods and seasonal foods.

FSA policies related to farm experience have changed so that other types of skills may be considered to meet the direct farming experience required for farm ownership loan eligibility. Operation or management of non-farm businesses, leadership positions while serving in the military or advanced education in an agricultural field will now count towards the experience applicants need to show when applying for farm ownership loans.

To grow or renew.

This small hay field is located in a business park near a suburban community. The field was once home to a herd of miniature horses. Now it is mowed annually by mutual agreement.


Since 2010, FSA has made a record amount of farm loans — more than 165,000 loans totaling nearly $23 billion. More than 50 percent of USDA’s farm loans now go to beginning farmers. In addition, FSA has increased its lending to socially-disadvantaged producers by nearly 50 percent since 2010.
Land, give me land, and the sunny skies above . . .

For more details consult the FSA Microloan Program Fact Sheet for program application, eligibility and related information.

In Connecticut:

State Office – Bryan Hurlburt, SED; bryan.hurlburt@ct.usda.gov; (860) 871-4090.
Hartford/Tolland Office – Ross Eddy, CED; ross.eddy@ct.usda.gov; (860) 688-7725.
Litchfield/Fairfield Office – Rebecca Palmer, CED; rebecca.palmer@ct.usda.gov; (860) 626-8852.
New Haven/Middlesex Office – Debra Castle, CED; debbie.castle@ct.usda.gov; (203) 269-6665.
New London Office – Ann Marie McCard, CED; ann.mccard@ct.usda.gov; (860) 887-9941.
Windham Office – Dawn Pindell, CED; dawn.pindell@ct.usda.gov; (860) 779-0557.
Farm Loan Officer – Ronald Clark; ronald.clark@ct.usda.gov; (860) 887-9941.

Business tip.
The microloan change allows beginning, small- and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay.

Solar energy - a powerful force for Earth and life.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.” ― Carl Sagan

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