The loan program provides direct assistance to small-scale, low-income farmers with timely financing for operating costs associated with start-up farm businesses and farm business expansion efforts.
According to the newly released 2007 Census of Agriculture, U.S. farmers are diversifying by gender, ethnicity and variety of food production.
These farmers increasingly are reporting farming as their primary occupation; farming “small” for longer periods, with women more likely to work these smaller farms.
To help these diverse farmers, FarmLink’s program identifies opportunities for those experiencing difficulty in securing financing through traditional means, provides technical assistance and connects agricultural entrepreneurs with financing, at a time when accessing credit is difficult. “This loan program complements our core focus – linking farmers to land,” says Schwartz. “Backing sustainable regional farming in this way grows local economies and creates jobs.”
Other contributors to FarmLink’s Farm Opportunities Loan Program have included Wells Fargo, Rabobank, The Monarch Fund managed by Calvert Foundation, the Columbia Foundation and private investors.
SOURCE Comerica Inc.; California FarmLink