Usda Farm Home Loan Program
Since the 1990s, beginning, socially disadvantaged, and limited resource farmers and ranchers in the United States have been eligible to receive benefits from a variety of Farm Act programs. These farm groups are targeted in 2018 Farm Bill provisions under Titles I (Commodities), II (Conservation), V (Credit), VII (Research), XI (Crop Insurance), and XII (Miscellaneous). A summary of the current Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, illustrates changes in programs and provisions that apply to farmers and ranchers targeted in the current legislation.
usda farm home loan program
ERS provides economic research and analysis of issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America. For information about how to access USDA programs and services please see USDA's Farmers.gov website. Beginning farmers, including women and veterans, can find additional information on USDA's Beginning Farmers and Ranchers website.
The USDA defines socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers (SDFRs) as those belonging to groups that have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice. SDFRs include farmers who are Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Pacific Islander. For some but not all USDA programs, the SDFR category also includes women.
The USDA administers several programs that benefit SDFRs. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees loans to eligible SDFRs to buy and operate farms and ranches. FSA also sets aside a portion of its direct and guaranteed Farm Ownership and Operating Loan funds for SDFRs. The most recent Farm bill (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) reauthorized and expanded support for SDFRs across a range of USDA programs, including farm credit programs, crop insurance, conservation programs, as well as provisions to incentivize research on issues faced by SDFRs. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides debt relief to socially disadvantaged producers with FSA direct or guaranteed farm loans.
The USDA Farm Service Agency targets a portion of all its loan funds to historically underserved farmers and ranchers, including women. Female principal operators accounted for 13 percent of farms in 2016 (see the table "Characteristics of principal farm operator households, by gender, 2016," in the Farm Household Income and Characteristics data product).
As a County Operations Trainee, you will be guided through a one-year management and program training class with the Farm Service Agency. The Farm Service Agency is responsible for implementing agricultural policy, implementing credit and loan programs, and managing conservation, commodity disaster and farm marketing programs.
Program Technicians provide administrative and technical support to help Farm Loan Program processes run smoothly. They help advise customers about requirements for loans and respond to questions about program requirements and procedures.
FSA has two primary functions: farm programs and farm loan programs. These programs support producers, from beginning farmers and ranchers who need access to loans to start up their operations to established producers who endured catastrophic weather events and need disaster assistance or a strong financial safety net.
Local governments, community organizations, and individuals can apply for agricultural funding and technical assistance from government organizations and/or private sources. This page highlights program offices, toolkits, and guides to help you identify programs that support new farmers, animal welfare and alternatives, renewable energy projects, rural development, organic or sustainable agriculture, work that enhances agricultural water usage, and other USDA priorities. Review any funding opportunities and/or programs carefully as eligibility, application deadlines, and qualified expenditures will vary.
USDA Rural Development (RD) offers loans, grants, and loan guarantees [rd.usda.gov] to support economic development, emergency services and first responders, utilities/telecommunication, as well as water and conservation projects.
Financial Resources for Farmers and Ranchers "USDA offers numerous programs to help farmers, ranchers, and businesses access the organic market. This page explains USDA's top resources supporting organic agriculture."
Grass Roots Guide to Federal Farm and Food ProgramsNational Sustainable Agriculture Coalitions. (NSAC)The guide "provides an in-depth look at dozens of federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture, and details how they can be accessed by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide."
Beginning farmer education for adult and young audiences in the United States can generally be traced back to the advent of the 1862 and 1890 Morrill Land-Grant Acts. But, for the first time, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub .L. No. 110-234, Section 7410) appropriated $75 million for FY 2009 to FY 2012 to develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.
The Agriculture Act of 2014 provided an additional $20 million per year for 2014 through 2018. The reasons for the renewed interest in beginning farmer and rancher programs are as follows: the rising average age of U.S. farmers; the 8% projected decrease in the number of farmers and ranchers between 2008 and 2018; and the growing recognition that new programs are needed to address the needs of the next generation of beginning farmers and ranchers.
VMLRP ApplicantsInformation for veterinarians interested in applying to the program, including eligibility, loan consolidation, the application review process, a guide to completing the application, and application forms.
The farm bill authorizes appropriations for direct and guaranteed lending through the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund (ACIF) up to $10 billion per fiscal year (7 U.S.C. 1994). FSA provides loans and guarantees from the funds in the ACIF at low interest rates, converting the appropriated funds into loans and loan guarantees. Total FSA lending exceeded $5 billion in each of fiscal years 2018 and 2019 (USDA, FSA Farm Loan Programs). Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the farm loan programs as reported by FSA for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
The ability for a federal agency to purchase and resell farmland was a key sticking point in the House Agriculture Committee; in 1937, a program for federal purchase and resale of farmland was rejected during markup before the bill could be reported (Baldwin 1968; Maddox 1937). After the House passed its bill, the Senate again considered and passed its bill which included authority to purchase farmland and resell the land to tenants under contract after a trial leasing period. This provision for a land purchase and resale program lost to House opposition in conference; the final bill provided for low-interest loans to purchase farms and farm homes, as well as rehabilitation loans to improve farms or purchase supplies, livestock and equipment. Importantly, the loans were operated through an appointed county committee of local farmers. USDA quickly put the programs in place, converting the Resettlement Administration into the Farm Security Administration to implement and administer the programs.
These criticisms of the 1937 Act are particularly notable in historical context. The New Deal acreage programs had a disparate impact on the tenants and sharecroppers in the South because cotton planters reduced the acres they farmed while refusing to share the federal payments. Federal assistance was instead used by the planters to consolidate land holdings, purchase tractors and other equipment, as well as diversify into other commercial crops. Not surprisingly, it was an effort that fell hardest on Black tenants and sharecroppers during the Jim Crow era and the Great Depression. This displacement received national attention at the time due to the formation of the biracial Southern Tenant Farmers Union in 1934, a subsequent strike by cotton pickers and violent retaliation by cotton planters and their allies in white supremacy. The consequences of the acreage programs were also the source of internal power struggles within USDA that resulted in a purge of liberal appointees by cotton allies in the Department; all of which either preceded or coincided with development of the 1937 Act and inform our understanding of its origins, as well as the discrimination it would further (Conrad 1965; Baldwin 1968; Daniel 1985; Cobb 1992; Olsson 2015).
That might sound too good to be true. But one home loan program can offer all these benefits: the USDA mortgage. USDA loans are meant to help low- and moderate-income Americans become homeowners. And they do that by offering ultra-affordable financing to eligible home buyers.
USDA loans are mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program. USDA offers financing with no down payment, reduced mortgage insurance, and below-market mortgage rates.
USDA rates are typically only matched by the VA loan, which is exclusively for veterans and service members. These two programs (USDA and VA) can offer below-market interest rates because their government guarantee protects lenders against loss.
USDA guarantees its mortgage loans, meaning it offers protection to mortgage lenders in case borrowers default. But the program is partially self-funded. To keep this loan program running, the USDA charges homeowner-paid mortgage insurance premiums.
NRCS program data are housed on the Resource Conservation Assessment Data Viewer. EQIP data for FY2009 to the pres