During the first two weeks of November, the Wisconsin Farm Service Agency (FSA) will hold briefings with dairy industry professionals, discussing how the agency can respond to the credit needs of livestock and other farmers. The hour-long briefings will provide basic information about FSA loans and financial services that partners can share with others.
"The Wisconsin livestock industry has been hit hard by many things, including low prices," said Brad Pfaff, Wisconsin FSA State Executive Director. "Compound this with global economic problems, and we’ve seen credit to farmers virtually dry-up this fall.”
Agribusinesses, suppliers, veterinarians, lenders, technical college and extension professionals, accountants, attorneys, farmers and the public are invited to the briefings.
"Many farmers and our partners don't know that we offer financial planning and credit counseling services, as well as low interest, flexible loans,” added Pfaff. "FSA loan officers can partner with commercial lenders, where others just aren't able to do so. We want to get that word out."
FSA is a major source of credit for Wisconsin farmers, with over $1 billion in credit extended, and involvement with about 1 out of every 7 farms with direct or guaranteed loans.
Direct loans are made by FSA loan officers and carry a low, fixed interest rate with extended terms.
FSA also offers loan guarantees to private lenders, when there is a collateral, equity or repayment gap.
“There are two benefits: they can still do business directly with their lender, but also take advantage of locking in historically low rates,” said Pfaff. Sometimes, FSA can pay 4 percentage points of interest on the loan.
All loans from FSA require a good credit history, must be fully secured, and have a cash flow plan to repay the loan, all other debts, and expenses.
Source: Farm Service Agency