FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


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Here are answers to some of the most common questions asked of ACTS Freedom Farms™ of America:

How close is the nearest Veteran Medical facility to a master-planned agricultural environment?
Where possible, ACTS intends to place the masterplanned agricultural environment within no more than an hour drive from a Veteran’s hospital or treatment center.
What is the minimum level of mobility/fitness/physical capability needed to make a success of an agricultural employment opportunity?
ACTS Freedom Farms offers an inclusive workplace and invests in assistive technology, apps and online tools so that employees will be able to carry out their job responsibilities without impediments.
What is the expected range of income for an Agricultural Specialist?
As you would expect, earnings capabilities are typically based on skill level, experience and education. ACTS Freedom Farms operates several different types of master-planned agricultural environments which offer varied employment opportunities. Our compensation and benefit packages are competitive to meet or exceed industry trends for each region of the country for both full and part-time positions.
What additional income opportunities are envisioned for veterans and their family members in a live-work master-planned agricultural environment?
Each ACTS Freedom Complex associated with a master-planned agricultural environment will have positions available for employment, as well as volunteer opportunities. The AG Core will hire workers for various positions part and full time.
What level of farming background/experience/is required of veterans to participate?
Absolutely none! Everything we do at ACTS Freedom Farms of America is “on the job training”. Some experts are employed by the AG Core, or provided by university/college alliance partners. Trade school programs are integrated into the learning process to create a state of the art learning environment. Additional educational courses will be made available through our strategic partners at no cost to Agricultural Specialist or ACTS Freedom Farms of America business owners.
How can I learn more about Controlled Environment Agriculture and specifically hydroponics?
Google and become immersed in it! ACTS Freedom Farms of America will constantly monitor the industry and test all systems and processes directly with the inventors. ACTS Freedom Farms of America will be the first such program that will allow for different processes to be studied and documented side by side in an R&D setting. The best of practices will quickly emerge.

Farm Service - USDA Loans

What is the Farm Service Agency Guaranteed Loan Program?
Farm Service Agency’s Guaranteed Farm Loan Programs helps family farmers and ranchers to obtain loans from USDA-approved commercial lenders at reasonable terms to buy farmland or finance agricultural production. Financial institutions receive additional loan business as well as benefit from the safety net the FSA provides by guaranteeing farm loans up to 95 percent against possible financial loss of principal and interest.
What is the Farm Service Agency Direct Farm Operating Loan?
Farm Service Agency’s Direct Farm Operating loans are a valuable resource to start, maintain and strengthen a farm or ranch. For new agricultural producers, FSA direct farm operating loans provide an essential gateway into agricultural production by financing the cost of operating a farm. All FSA direct loans are financed and serviced by the Agency through local Farm Loan Officers and Farm Loan Managers. The funding comes from Congressional appropriations as part of the USDA budget.
What is the difference between the Farm Service Agency’s Guaranteed Loan and the Direct Operating Loan Programs?
With a guaranteed farm loan, the lender is FSA's customer, not the loan applicant. Guaranteed loans are the property and responsibility of the lender. The lender and loan applicant complete the Application for Guarantee and submit it to the FSA Service Center in their lending area. The Service Center works with the commercial lender to process the guarantee. The Farm Loan Officer reviews the application for applicant eligibility, repayment ability, adequacy of collateral, and compliance with other regulations, and if the applicant meets those requirements, the request is approved. The Service Center issues the lender a conditional commitment outlining the terms of the loan guarantee and indicating that the loan may be closed. The lender closes the loan and advances funds to the applicant, after which the Service Center staff issues the guarantee. The lender makes the loan and services it to conclusion. In the event the lender suffers a loss, FSA will reimburse the lender according to the terms and conditions specified in the guarantee.

A direct operating loan is funded directly by the Agency. The money used for direct loans comes from annual Congressional appropriations received as part of the USDA budget. The Agency is responsible for making and servicing the loan.
What are the types of Farm Service Agency Guaranteed Loans?
FSA’s Guaranteed Farm Loan Programs helps family farmers and ranchers to obtain loans from USDA-approved commercial lenders at reasonable terms to buy farmland or finance agricultural production. Financial institutions receive additional loan business as well as benefit from the safety net the FSA provides by guaranteeing farm loans up to 95 percent against possible financial loss of principal and interest. The EZ Guarantee Program is available for smaller loans. This program provides a simplified Guaranteed Loan application process to help small, new or underserved family farmers with early financial assistance. The EZ Guarantee is available for loan applications up to $100,000 for farm operating or farm ownership purposes. Lenders need only submit one application form per loan request containing all necessary information for the application. No other supporting documents will typically be required. In addition, streamlined financial underwriting is available for these loans, allowing all approved lenders to analyze the request in the same manner in which they would analyze a nonguaranteed loan request of the same size and type. All existing eligibility, loan purpose, security, and other requirements remain the same.

Other types of loans are:
What qualifications must an applicant have to qualify for a Farm Service Agency loan?
To qualify for an FSA Guarantee, a loan applicant must:
  • Be a citizen of the United States (or legal resident alien), which includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and certain former Pacific Trust Territories
  • Have an acceptable credit history as determined by the lender
  • Have the legal capacity to incur responsibility for the loan obligation
  • Be unable to obtain a loan without an FSA guarantee
  • Not have caused FSA a financial loss by receiving debt forgiveness on more than 3 occasions on or prior to April 4, 1996, or any occasion after April 4, 1996, on either an FSA direct or guarantee loan
  • Be the owner-operator or tenant-operator of a family farm after the loan is closed. For an Operating loan, the producer must be the operator of a family farm after the loan is closed. For a Farm Ownership loan, the producer also needs to own the farm
  • Not be delinquent on any Federal debt
Conservation Loan applicants do not have to meet the "family farm" definition nor do they have to be unable to obtain a loan without an FSA guarantee. All other eligibility requirements must be met.
What is the definition of a “Family Farm”?
Every farm operation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. There are 3 primary questions you can ask yourself in determining whether your farm enterprise is a family farm:
  • Is your operation considered a family farm by community standards? In most areas of the country and in most farming operations, the family provides most of the day to day labor, with some exceptions.
  • Are the day-to-day management and operational decisions made by members of the family? The use of consultants, advisors, and other experts is certainly allowed; however, a family member must be the decision maker.
  • What does your labor force look like? One distinct characteristic of a family farm is that family members provide both physical labor and management for the farm. Loan recipients may not necessarily perform the majority of farm labor, but it should be significant. The use of seasonal labor is permitted, including labor required for specific high-value, labor-intensive crops.
What are the maximum loan limits for the Farm Service Agency?
The Farm Service Agency can guarantee standard Operating loans, Farm Ownership loans, and Conservation loans up to $1,750,000; this amount is adjusted annually each Fiscal Year based on inflation.

The maximum loan limit for Land Contract Guarantees is $500,000.
What are the repayment terms for Farm Service Agency loans?
Repayment terms vary according to the type of loan made, the collateral securing the loan, and the producer's ability to repay. Operating Loans are normally repaid within 7 years and Farm Ownership loans cannot exceed 40 years. All advances on an Operating Line of Credit must be repaid within 7 years of the date of the loan guarantee.
How can I locate a Farm Service Agency lender?
Click on one of the links below and select the desired state for a list of current FSA guaranteed lenders. Please note that this list is intended to get you started by providing very basic lender contact information. It may not contain all agricultural lenders in your area, and some lenders have multiple branches which are not specifically listed.
How can I obtain additional assistance with Farm Service Agency loan programs?
More information on FSA Guaranteed Farm Loans is available at the Agency's local county offices or USDA Service Centers. These offices are usually listed in telephone directories in the section set aside for governmental/public organizations under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency.

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