Women and minority farmers may be eligible for FSA loan

Women and minority farmers interested in buying and operating family-sized farms may be eligible for loans from the Farm Service Agency, according to J. Calvin Parrish, the Virginia Farm Service Agency State Executive Director.

"Each year, the Farm Service Agency reserves a portion of its farm loan funding specifically for socially disadvantaged applicants," said J. Calvin Parrish.

A socially disadvantaged applicant is one of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of his or her identity as members of the group without regard to his or her individual qualities. For purposes of this program, socially disadvantaged groups are women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

According to the local FSA Farm Loan Chief, Pete Adamson, "the loan eligibility requirements for women and minorities are the same as those for other borrowers/applicants must be primarily and directly engaged in farming/ranching on family-size operations."

In addition to being members of a socially disadvantaged group, applicants under this program must meet all requirements for FSA's farm loan program assistance, including:

•Have a satisfactory history of meeting credit obligations;

•Have sufficient education, experience and/or training that indicates the managerial ability to assure reasonable prospects of success;

•Be a citizen of the United States (or a legal resident alien), including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and certain former Pacific Island Trust Territories;

•Be unable to obtain credit elsewhere at reasonable rates and terms to meet actual needs; and

•Possess legal capacity to incur loan obligations.

To learn more about FSA Farm Loan programs, contact the local Farm Service Agency or visit us online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.