On April 1, the United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency announced that the Utah office has obligated all of the $173 million provided in the recovery act for the direct operating loan program in the state.
The program gave 2,636 producers direct loans from the agency. Almost 50 percent of the loan recipients were beginning farmers and 10 percent were socially disadvantaged producers.
There were $4.1 million in loans made to 67 borrowers at locations across Utah.
"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 FSA loan chief Bill York
Applications were considered on a first come, first served basis with special emphasis placed on beginning and socially disadvantaged applicants, explained the FSA. The maximum loan amount was $300,000.
In keeping with the goal of the recovery act, the loan funding was intended for proper investment into the agricultural sector to benefit family farmers and rural economies.
The act was designed to preserve or create millions of jobs throughout the country and the FSA loans help ensure that recipients remain financially viable and local agri-businesses benefit from direct purchases.
According to FSA, a hypothetical example of purchases made with a $100,000 direct operating loan includes:
â¢A used farm tractor, $45,000.
The effect of the hypothetical loan reached the local implement dealership, sale barn, the grain seed distributor, the fertilizer distributor and a local fuel dealership, noted the Farm Service Agency.
For specific information on direct operating loans and FSA programs, farmers and producers in the Castle Valley region may contact York at (801) 524-4530 or call the local FSA office.
Carbon and Emery County residents with Internet access may obtain information from the federal agency's website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.