Thursday, January 17, 2013

USDA offers loans to farmers who grow for locals

With interest in locally grown food soaring, the federal government said Tuesday it has created a small loan program to help community farmers who might not be able to borrow money from banks.

Call it seed money.

The low-interest "microloans" of up to $35,000 are designed to aid startup costs, bolster existing family-run farms and help minority growers and military veterans who want to farm. Over the last three years, there has been a 60 percent increase in local growers who sell directly to consumers or farmers markets, Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack said...
Color me wary. This feels like accepting a favor from Vito Corleone.

One of the philosophical purposes of the local movement is to get as far away as possible from the Big Operators. I'm not sure what small farmers hope to get out of this. Money, I guess. But if you take cheddar from Uncle Sam, chances are there are going to be a few long strings attached. I'd avoid this program at all costs were I a farmer.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I tried to delete the identical second posting. Let me try again. I agree, reluctantly. You take Federal dollars, you dance to a Federal tune. How about ending subsidies to Industrial growers?