- Author: Roger S Ingram
Two workshops will be held on loan and financing options for small producers at the February 4th PlacerGROWN Food and Farm Conference at Lincoln High School. Lack of scale of operation has come up many times over the last four years during farm business planning classes taught by UC Cooperative Extension. While the farm and ranch direct marketing enterprises produce a positive margin, they typically are not large enough to pay a reasonable annual salary. Increasing scale of operation for many means increasing from a micro-farm or ranch to a small one. Scale does not mean a large corporate farm.
Getting to scale presents challenges regarding having sufficient resources (land and irrigation), capital, and length of time to repay the capital investment. Most people that have taken farm business planning or beginning farming courses lack sufficient capital to self-fund expansion. This means some type of loan will need to be sought.
No matter what loan you are seeking, here are important considerations for a lender:
- Have you been in business for at least 3 years?
- Is your business profitable, with sufficient cash flow to meet your new and current obligations (both personal and business)?
- Do you have a satisfactory personal and business credit history?
Panel members will include representatives from: USDA Farm Service Agency, Sierra Economic Development Corporation, Northern Farm Credit, California Farm Link, and Briar Patch The panel will provide you with a wide array of loan and finance options. In addition, a second session will discuss the main components of a loan package as well as providing time for your questions.