Small-scale producers spend an immense amount of time and effort generating their wares. The more they produce, the more storage space they need to stash their stock. But packing sheds and walk-in coolers come with an outsized price tag — and that’s where government loans can help.
For the past 15 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered low-interest loans to farmers to build or expand their on-farm storage facilities. Until recently, products eligible for these loans have included fruits, nuts, vegetables, honey, and most grains and oilseeds. Now, the program is expanding to accommodate meat, dairy, eggs, flowers, hops and some aquaculture systems. Any farmer with satisfactory credit and crop coverage can apply, and the loans can reach up to $500,000. To learn more or to apply for a Farm Storage Facility Loan, head to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s website.
Amanda Sorell is an Associate Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine.