While it's not on the forefront of the minds of many right now due to the snow-covered landscape, the next growing season is only a few months away. Doreen Conlogue, County Executive director at the United States Department of Agriculture office in Presque Isle, is beginning to shift focus.
(Doreen) Closing out these files, getting the loans closed. I have probably six or eight left.
One program Conlogue spends a lot of time with is the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program, or FSFL, which is available to those who produce an eligible commodity such as vegetables, grain, hay, and so on.
(Doreen) This program is for anyone. As long as they can show repayment ability. The loan amounts, the maximum loan amount is $500,000.
Conlogue says it is one of the USDA's most popular programs in the County, with 60 applications in the last three years.
(Doreen) We can use this program to build brand new potato storages. We can do hay storage, we can do grain bins, we can even use the money to renovate existing storages. Besides that, we can use it for financing equipment, but it's handling equipment only. No tractors, no harvesters, no combines.
Even with exceptions, Conlogue says the program has been successful thus far, with a zero percent delinquency rate. For those interested in applying:
(Doreen) There's a $100 application fee, estimates, or description of the equipment that you want to buy and we'll go from there.
Conlogue suggests reaching out to the Presque Isle USDA office with any questions.