Washington Small Farmers Say They Need Help - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington Small Farmers Say They Need Help

GRANDVIEW, Wash. - Small farmers in central Washington say they are in a crisis, private loans are tougher to get and it's hard for them to get enough aid from the federal government to expand or simply hang on.

The Yakima Herald-Republic says farmers met with bankers, lawmakers and government officials in Yakima last week to discuss the problem, but there were few easy answers. Bankers say they are restricted by tougher regulations. And while the federal Farm Service Agency has loan programs for farmers who can't get bank financing, growers say the maximum of $1.1 million is insufficient.

Farmers at the meeting, organized by the state Mexican Fruit Growers Coalition, say they want the government to give them access to larger loan programs available to bigger growers, fruit warehouses, food processors and dairies.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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