New Illustrated Guide for Understanding Federal Farm Loans

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) released Farm Service Agency Loans: the Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans, an illustrated guidebook for farmers looking to secure credit from the United States Department of Agriculture. This is the first comprehensive plain language guide to Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans since before the introduction of the popular microloan in 2013.

Cara Fraver, NYFC director of business services and former vegetable farmer, authored the guidebook with Lindsey Lusher Shute, NYFC executive director. The book is illustrated by Tamara Lusher Stocker, an artist who worked on celebrated animated films for Walt Disney Studios and developed films for Lucas Films, Ltd., and other studios.

"The Farm Service Agency remains the best place for young farmers to access their first capital," said Shute. "The National Young Farmers Coalition collaborated with FSA on this guidebook because we wanted to make the process of getting a loan easier and more transparent."

Shute noted the book helps farmers navigate the ins and outs of the loan process with a light touch, charming illustrations, and from the perspective and curiosity of a young farmer. Smart, comprehensive, deeply researched, and up-to-date, the book includes:

  • the story of the USDA's Farm Service Agency;
  • a family tree of all the people who make loans at USDA through the Farm Service Agency;
  • a description of all the ways farmers can get involved through USDA committees to influence and improve the loan process;
  • case studies from farmers who received FSA loans; 
  • and charts with up-to-date interest rates and loan terms. 

Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans, 50 pages, is available for free download at www.youngfarmers.org/fsaloansguide or in hard copy for $15. Its publication is funded by a cooperative agreement with USDA's FSA Office of Program Education and Stakeholder Engagement to reach new audiences.

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