WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2012 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson announced today that equine operations that breed, raise and sell certain types of horses are now eligible for loan assistance under FSA’s emergency loan program.
“To help keep American agriculture profitable, USDA immediately responds to disasters across the country—ranging from record floods, droughts and tornadoes—with direct support, disaster assistance, technical assistance, and access to credit,” said Nelson. “This policy modification will help certain equine operations when they face losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters or quarantine. A strong farm safety net, including emergency credit, is critical to sustain the success of American agriculture.”
Emergency loan funds may be used to:
Restore or replace essential property; Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year (the calendar year in which the disaster occurred); Pay essential family living expenses; Reorganize the farming operation; and Refinance certain debts.
Emergency loans can be made to farmers and ranchers who own and operate lands in a county or contiguous county to a county declared by the President or designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a disaster area. Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses up to a maximum of $500,000. Terms of the loans include an interest rate of 3.75 percent and repayment over a period of one to 40 years depending on the nature of the loss and the collateral available to secure the loan.
The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, implement the Farm Bill, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers.
A strong farm safety net is important to sustain the success of American agriculture. For example, USDA’s crop insurance program insures 264 million acres, 1.14 million policies, and $110 billion worth of liability on about 500,000 farms. And in response to tighter financial markets, USDA has expanded the availability of farm credit, helping struggling farmers refinance loans. In the past 3 years, USDA provided 103,000 loans to family farmers totaling $14.6 billion. Over 50 percent of the loans went to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (Voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).