Iowa FSA Offers SDA and Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loans


April 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

State Executive Director for USDA’s Iowa Farm Service Agency, John R. Whitaker reminds interested applicants that loan programs are available to assist eligible socially disadvantaged farmers (minority and beginning farmers and ranchers) to buy and/or operate family-size farms and ranches.   FSA offers two different loan types, direct and guaranteed.  Farm ownership or farm operating loans may be obtained directly from FSA for up to $300,000.  Guaranteed loans, loans made by a commercial lender where FSA acts as a guarantor, can reach a maximum indebtedness of $1,214,000.  

Operating loans may be used for various short and intermediate type credit needs, such as the purchase of livestock, equipment, and annual operating expenses.  Farm ownership loans may be used for the purchase and/or improvement of farm or ranch real estate and buildings associated with these properties. Individuals, partnerships, joint operations, corporations, limited liability companies and cooperatives primarily and directly engaged in family-sized farming operations are eligible to apply.  Repayment terms for direct operating loans depend on the collateral securing the loan and have a term of one to seven years.  Repayment terms on direct farm ownership loans are up to 40 years.  Guaranteed loan terms (those loans made through commercial lenders, i.e. banks) are set by the lender.  

Applications for all FSA direct loan programs are made through the local FSA office.  Guaranteed loan applications are processed by the participating lender. For more information on farm loans or other programs administered by FSA, visit your local Farm Service Agency office or go on-line at