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Recovery Act loans available to area farmers

March 17, 2009

Alan Hurst, farm loan manager for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Maryland, has announced the FSA on the national level will use $145 million of the $173 million provided in the Recovery Act for its Direct Operating Farm Loan Program, which will give 2,042 farmers direct loans from the agency.

"These loans will be 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," Hurst said.

All remaining funding will be allocated through approved loans until all available funds have been used. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis with special emphasis placed on beginning and socially disadvantaged applicants.

The maximum loan amount is $300,000.

In keeping with the president's goal for the Recovery Act, this loan funding is intended for proper investment into the agricultural sector to benefit family farmers and rural economies.

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The Recovery Act was designed to preserve or create millions of jobs throughout the country. These loans help ensure that recipients remain financially viable and local agribusinesses benefit from direct purchases.

For more information, visit the Hagerstown office at 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 107; call toll free 866-316-8458; or go to www.fsa.usda.gov on the Web.

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