February 7, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Washington, DC, February 7, 2023 – Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that a streamlined process to apply for direct loans with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be available to farmers and ranchers starting March 1, 2023.
“This announcement signals that the Administration understands what is important – that farmers are able to focus on farming,” said Billy Hackett, Policy Specialist with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). “The people who grow and raise our food, particularly the small to mid-sized, beginning, diverse, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers served by FSA disproportionately do not have the time or resources to comb through elaborate forms and piece together minute records.”
The new application will be reduced from 29 to 13 pages, and producers will have the option to complete the form electronically or to submit a paper application to their FSA farm loan office. Coupled with the Loan Assistance Tool released in October 2022, the simplified application will provide all loan applicants access to information regarding the application process and assist them with gathering the correct documents before they begin the application process.
“These are only the most recent steps taken by FSA leadership and employees under the Biden Administration to improve access to resources for historically underserved producers,” continued Hackett. “The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) looks forward to seeing how USDA tackles additional barriers to participation in lending programs in the future, including mechanisms for pre-approval and enhanced language translation services.”
USDA also announced that all direct loan borrowers will soon receive a letter outlining options for distressed borrowers to receive relief using the funds Congress provided in Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act. Producers can explore all available options at fsa.usda.gov or by contacting their local USDA Service Center.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
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. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net
Categories: Press Releases