MEMPHIS, Tenn. (January 15, 2013)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering new loans of as much as $35,000 for those who want to start or expand small farms.
Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack said the new "microloans" are designed to help bolster family-run farms and help veterans or socially disadvantaged farmers who may otherwise have trouble securing small loans from banks or other USDA programs.
The loans can help farmers seeking to grow organic crops to sell directly to ethnic and farmers markets.
Vilsack said they also can help beginning farmers cover start-up expenses such as seed, tools, irrigation, fertilizer and delivery vehicles.
The microloan program also provides a more simplified application process in comparison with traditional farm loans.
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