John Bonitz, Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, email@example.com
The Rural Advancement Foundation International - USA recently released "The Farmer's Guide to Agricultural Credit." The guide provides step-by-step advice on financing non-traditional farm-based enterprises.
The Farmer's Guide grew out of the Farmer & Lender Project, a partnership between RAFI-USA and the Self-Help Credit Union, supported by the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.
Creative ideas, from growing organic produce to grinding corn into grits, offer farms a way to stay afloat in financially challenging times. However, these ideas can be difficult to explain to lenders who are used to dealing with traditional commodity crops. Farmers have experience with getting annual operating loans, but are often unprepared for the amount of documentation lenders expect for a new enterprise. Agricultural lenders know how to assess risks and benefits of familiar crops, but few of them are prepared to evaluate a new kind of project.
The Farmer's Guide helps close this gap. It outlines how lenders evaluate loan applications, how to communicate ideas to lenders, and what resources are available to help along the way. A steering committee of farmers, commercial and agricultural lenders, representatives of state government and other experts helped produce the Farmer's Guide.
The Farmer's Guide is available on-line at www.rafiusa.org/pubs/puboverview.html
A limited number of printed copies are available by mail: North Carolina farmers may request a free copy by calling 919-542-1396.
Out-of-state shipping requires $10 to cover the costs of printing and postage.
RAFI-USA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to community, equity, and diversity in agriculture.
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