FSA Now Offering Low-Interest Loans for Portable On-Farm Storage Equipment
Are you a small or mid-scale family farmer selling your products to local and regional markets? Good news is coming your way from the USDA! The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency recently announced that farmers can now use the pre-existing Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) Program to help finance portable storage structures, portable equipment, and storage and handling trucks.
This could be a big help to fruit and vegetable farmers who need special equipment to transport their goods safely and efficiently to local farmers markets, schools, restaurants, food hubs, etc.
For example, if a farmer grows primarily fruits and vegetables to sell at local farmers’ markets, that farmer can now use a Farm Storage Facility Loan to buy equipment to weigh vegetables, forklifts to handle the fruits and vegetables, portable storage containers to store fruits and vegetables for short or extended periods of time, and a refrigerated truck to move that stored produce to market.
Before now, only permanently-affixed and stationary equipment and facilities were eligible for financing under this low-interest federal loan program.
The new FSFL rule also introduced an easier loan application process for "microloans" of under $50,000.
The reduced paperwork and red tape are great news for smaller operations and beginning farmers who are looking for financial support, but don't have the time or patience to wade through a long application process.
For more information, check out the FSA's Farm Storage Facility Loan Program information page.
Thanks to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for providing information for this post.