A devotee farmer near the Gita Nagari farm in Port Royal, Pennsylvania, has received a Farm Ownership Loan from the USDA Farm Service Agency, which offers low rates to help new farmers buy farms. The program offers up to 100% financing on up to $600,000, and encourages people to take up farming and save farmland for future generations.
Considering Srila Prabhupada’s many teachings advocating cow protection, food production and self-sufficiency, Gita Nagari’s leaders as well as ISKCON North America leaders are encouraging interested devotees to avail of the USDA program.
While the program is available nationwide, Gita Nagari leaders say that those who purchase farms near the long-established Gita Nagari project will be able to draw support from its existing network and wealth of experience.
Gita Nagari is a 350-acre farm, established in 1974 to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s instruction that city temples should be affiliated with farm projects. It is run by temple president Dhruva Maharaj Das and program director Parijata Dasi, a husband and wife team who worked as a mechanical engineer and human resources executive before turning to farming to help realize Prabhupada’s vision.
It was another Gita Nagari program director, Kesi Mardana Das, who recently purchased an 83-acre farm near Gita Nagari with the help of the USDA Farm Ownership Loan.
According to the terms of the loan, Kesi had to have at least three years of experience in farming, as well as a business plan for how to pay the loan off. Gita Nagari helped with both – Kesi, who had been a psychology graduate in Las Vegas, moved to the Pennsylvania farm five years ago to begin his training.
He now plans to grow feed crops on his new farm for the dairy cows at Gita Nagari, keep bees and produce honey, and later grow grains such as wheat, millets and oats.
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/usda-loan-benefits-new-devotee-farmers-in-gita-nagari-area,7633/