Farm Operating Loans & Microloans

FSA’s Direct Farm Operating loans are a valuable resource to establish, maintain and strengthen your farm or ranch. Under its direct loan program, FSA loan officers are responsible for every aspect of the loan application process, and funding is provided through Congressional appropriation.

Microloans are direct farm operating loans with a shortened application process and reduced paperwork designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional, and niche type operations. Apprentice and mentorship programs, non-farm business experience, and farm labor experience are acceptable alternative solutions for helping to meet farm experience and managerial requirements.

Operating loans may be used to purchase items such as:

  • Livestock and feed
  • Farm equipment
  • Fuel, farm chemicals, insurance and other operating costs, including family living expenses
  • Minor improvements or repairs to buildings
  • Refinance certain farm-related debts, excluding real estate

Operating loan funds cannot be used to finance nonfarm enterprises, including earthworms, exotic birds, tropical fish, dogs or horses used for non-farm purposes (racing, pleasure, show and boarding).

There is no minimum loan amount. The maximum loan amount for a Microloan is $35,000.The maximum loan amount for a Direct Farm Operating Loan is $300,000. There is no down payment requirement.

Contact your local office or USDA Service Center to learn more about our programs and the information you will need for a complete application. To locate your local FSA office, click here

Contact Farm Operating Loans & Microloans

USDA Farm Service Agency

National Service


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator