May 13, 2010

During Tough Economic Times, Senator Gillibrand Fights For Federal Loan Dollars To New York’s Family Farms

In Letter To Senate Leaders, Gillibrand Calls For Additional $80 Million For Farm Loans

Washington, DC – With farms across New York struggling during these tough economic times, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged Senate leaders to include $80 million for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to continue its critical service through the Farm Operating and Farm Ownership loans program. The FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender.

“New York’s farmers are a critical part of our economy and we must ensure their success,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In this economic crisis, we can’t afford to let our farm families be pushed any farther to the brink. If we’re going to rebuild this economy, we need to keep families on their farms. I will continue working to ensure our farmers and rural businesses have access to the assistance they need to succeed and grow for the long term.”  

Several states, including New York, have already exhausted the funds allocated for Farm Operating and Farm Ownership loans. A great number of loan applications have already been approved, but with no funding available to obligate.  Nationally, there are approximately $79 million in loans that are approved and waiting for funding.  Of this, $19 million are for Farm Operating loans and $60 million are for Farm Ownership loans.

New York’s FSA Farm Loan Program currently has $2,833,130 of loans approved with no available money to fund them. Of this, $656,000 are Farm Ownership Loans and $2,177,130 are Farm Operating Loans. Currently, New York has $17,024,900 in applications on hand, which is significant given FSA’s current lack of funds.