Fostering Capital Investment

Agriculture and forestry are capital intensive industries. Land, equipment, and facilities are precursors to production systems before recurring fertilizer, feed, equipment, seed, breeding stock, electricity, water, and fuel costs. Besides access to reasonably priced capital, agricultural and forestry entrepreneurs require lenders knowledgeable of emerging production and processing technology and a commitment to industry growth.

Goals

  1. Reduce barriers for new and existing businesses that are trying to leverage capital to start or expand forestry and agricultural operations.
  2. Reduce unreasonable barriers such as archaeological, environmental, and Endangered Species Act studies that inhibit the loan process.
  3. Ensure that information will be readily available to guide new and existing businesses on how to raise capital to finance agricultural and forestry operations.
  4. Ensure that Extension programs are readily available to guide farm and forestry families on successful intergenerational transfer of business assets.
  5. Decrease the time and cost associated with obtaining agriculture/forestry financing.

Actions

  1. Petition the Alabama Legislature to amend the Alabama Investment Initiative to include a new zero sales tax on permanent capital investments in production and processing facilities and equipment.
  2. Increase funding for agriculture, agribusiness, forestry, and forest products research and Extension.
  3. Alabama Cooperative Extension System will establish a Farm and Agribusiness Management Center to prepare economic assessments for farm and forestry family-owned businesses to assess the impact of potential management, enterprise, and investment changes.
  4. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries will form a task force made up of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), agricultural lenders, and farmers to identify practices to reduce the time and cost associated with obtaining agriculture/forestry financing.
  5. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries will seek methods to simplify the USDA FSA guaranteed loan program process, along with all government forms and applications.

Next