California FSA Offices Reopen for Farm Loan Program Service

Offices Will Open Temporarily for Farm Loan Program

Message from USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Aubrey J. D. Bettencourt:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. [CLICK HERE to read official press release.] The following California FSA Offices will be open for Farm Loan Program Service only January 17th, 18th, and 22nd from 8am-4:30pm.

California Bakersfield Service Center 5080 California Ave, Suite 150, Bakersfield, CA (661) 336-0967
California Merced Service Center 2926 G Street, Suite 103, Merced, CA 95342 (209) 722-4119
California Modesto Service Center 3800 Cornucopia Way STE E, Modesto, CA (209) 491-9320
California Redding Service Center 3644 Avtech Pkwy, Redding, CA 96002 (530) 226-2568
California Salinas Service Center 744 La Guardia St Bldg A, Salinas, CA 93907 (831) 424-1036
California Santa Maria Service Center 920 E Stowell Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93455 (805) 928-9269
California Stockton Service Center 7585 S. Longe Street, Stockton, CA 95209 (209) 337-2124
California Ukiah Service Center 1252 Airport Park Blvd STE B1, Ukiah, CA 95483 (707) 468-9223
California Willows Service Center 132 N Enright Ave, Willows, CA 95988 (530) 934-4601
California Yreka Service Center 215 Executive CT STE A, Yreka, CA 96099 (530) 842-6123
California Yuba City Service Center 1521 Butte House Rd STE B, Yuba, City, CA 95994 (530) 671-0850

 

Farm Loan Program services available include Processing Payments made on or before Dec. 31, 2018, Continuing Expiring Financing Statements, and Responding to General Loan Inquires. Producers are encouraged to call their nearest FSA Farm Loan Program Service Center listed above with any questions.

Farm Program services, such as MFP, will not be administered at this time. However, due to the extension previously granted on MFP, I’d encourage your producers to email their applications to their FSA county directors, whose contact can be found here. MFP applications will be processed as soon as normal operations resume upon conclusion of the shutdown. Producers who already applied for MFP and certified their 2018 production by December 28, 2018 should have already received their payments.

In California, USDA County Service Centers NRCS offices are open daily.  Any NRCS inquires or business, producers can call or visit their county NRCS service center.

Please let me know if you or your members require any further information or clarification. I’m here to help however I can.

Aubrey.Bettencourt@CA.USDA.GOV    (O) 530.792.5540    (C) 530.219.8634

USDA Modifies Farm Loan Programs to Give More Opportunity to Producers

Farm Loan Modifications Create Flexibility for Farmers and Ranchers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack TODAY announced increased opportunity for producers as a result of the 2014 Farm Bill. A fact sheet outlining modifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Programs is available here.

“Our nation’s farmers and ranchers are the engine of the rural economy. These improvements to our Farm Loan Programs will help a new generation begin farming and grow existing farm operations,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Today’s announcement represents just one part of a series of investments the new Farm Bill makes in the next generation of agriculture, which is critical to economic growth in communities across the country.”

The Farm Bill expands lending opportunities for thousands of farmers and ranchers to begin and continue operations, including greater flexibility in determining eligibility, raising loan limits, and emphasizing beginning and socially disadvantaged producers.

Changes that will take effect immediately include:

  • Elimination of loan term limits for guaranteed operating loans.
  • Modification of the definition of beginning farmer, using the average farm size for the county as a qualifier instead of the median farm size.
  • Modification of the Joint Financing Direct Farm Ownership Interest Rate to 2 percent less than regular Direct Farm Ownership rate, with a floor of 2.5 percent. Previously, the rate was established at 5 percent.
  • Increase of the maximum loan amount for Direct Farm Ownership down payments from $225,000 to $300,000.
  • Elimination of rural residency requirement for Youth Loans, allowing urban youth to benefit.
  • Debt forgiveness on Youth Loans, which will not prevent borrowers from obtaining additional loans from the federal government.
  • Increase of the guarantee amount on Conservation Loans from 75 to 80 percent and 90 percent for socially disadvantaged borrowers and beginning farmers.
  • Microloans will not count toward loan term limits for veterans and beginning farmers.

Additional modifications must be implemented through the rulemaking processes. Visit the FSA Farm Bill website for detailed information and updates to farm loan programs.