Peters discusses bill to preserve loans for farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and David Perdue (R-GA) recently introduced a bill to preserve U.S. Department of Agriculutre loans used by farmers to start and grow their operations in periods when these loans are in high demand.

The Farm Service Agency provides direct loans and loan guarantees to beginning farmers, women and minorities, and other disadvantaged borrowers who are unable to obtain assistance from private banks. 2,300 Michigan farms already take advantage of the current Farm Service Agency loan program, totaling over $630 million.  These loans can be used for expenses such as livestock, equipment and seed and other loans help farmers develop land.

The proposed bill, called the Farm Service Agency Loan Flexibility Act, would authorize the USDA to increase the loan cap 25 percent. Peters said the increase would allow more farmers to have access to funds necessary to grow their operations.

“FSA loans provide government-guaranteed loans, similar to small business loans that are available to other small businesses,” added Peters. “A small farm is a small business, and those folks should also have access to guaranteed loans to allow them to invest in their business.”

To read more about the bill, click HERE.

The bill is currently in committee, but Peters expects it to move through legislation quickly. He spoke on the Senate floor about the issue on Thursday.