July 11, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ferd Hoefner or Juli Obudzinski, 202-547-5754
NSAC Applauds House Agriculture Committee for Adopting Fudge-Fortenberry Microloan Amendment
Washington, DC – Today the House Agriculture Committee adopted by voice vote an important amendment to its draft farm bill that will authorize microlending programs within USDA.
“Capital is the number one need of young and beginning farmers, and this amendment starts to address that need by improving federal credit programs for new producers,” said Juli Obudzinski, NSAC Policy Associate. “Thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Representatives Fudge (D-OH) and Fortenberry (R-NE), the Committee adopted this important provision.”
This no-cost amendment authorizes USDA to make microloans of up to $35,000 in order to enable small, beginning, and veteran farmers to access capital that meets their needs and reflects the scale of their operations. These farmers are often looking for smaller loans when they’re first getting started in agriculture and have faced significant hurdles in obtaining loans through existing federal credit programs. This amendment also streamlines the application process and gives USDA the authority to establish cooperative lending projects in collaboration with non-governmental and community-based organizations.
Additional information about NSAC farm bill priorities can be found here: http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/house-farmbill-markup-looms/
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.