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Ag official says Md. focus important

September 25, 2007

ANNAPOLIS - Elizabeth Anderson, executive director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Maryland, says FSA is hoping to get more women, ethnic and minority farmers in the state involved in its programs.

"FSA programs are available to all producers but we would like to increase participation by traditionally underrepresented groups in all program areas," Anderson said.

She said FSA also reserves a portion of its direct and guaranteed loan funds each year for SDA loans for eligible participants. These loan programs are designed to help farmers purchase and operate family farms.

"With these loan programs, FSA hopes to help reverse the declining number of farmers and ranchers across the United States and, especially, in Washington County, Maryland," Anderson said.

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"These loans help to encourage and assist them in owning and operating their own farms and ranches, participate in agricultural programs, and become integral parts of the agricultural community."

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for a given program before FSA can extend program benefits.

For more information on these programs and other programs available through FSA, contact the Farm Service Agency at the county USDA Service Center.

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