David F. Laster, farm loan chief for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Georgia, announced that FSA has obligated all of the $173 million provided in the recovery act for its Direct Operating Farm Loan Program, which gave 2,636 farmers —almost 50 percent who were beginning farmers and 10 percent socially disadvantaged producers — direct loans from the agency. There were $8.040 million in loans made to 75 borrowers in Georgia.
"These loans were used to purchase items such as farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel and other operating expenses and will stimulate rural economies by providing American farmers funds to operate," said Laster.
Applications were considered on a first come, first served basis with special emphasis placed on beginning and socially disadvantaged applicants. The maximum loan amount was $300,000.
Here is a hypothetical example of purchases made with a $100,000 direct operating loan: used farm tractor, $45,000; livestock, $18,000; seed, $15,000; fertilizer, $10,000; fuel, $12,000.
The effect of this loan reaches the local implement dealership, sale barn, the grain seed distributor, the fertilizer distributor and a local fuel dealership.
In keeping with the president's goal for the recovery act, this loan funding was intended for proper investment into the agricultural sector, to benefit both family farmers and rural economies. The recovery act was designed to preserve or create millions of jobs throughout the country and these loans help ensure that recipients remain financially viable and local agribusinesses benefit from direct purchases.