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fsa operating loan

FSA Keeps Third Generation in the Dairy Business

When Eric Johnson finished high school, he didn’t see cows in his future.

“I wanted a new adventure and I wanted to try something different after being on the farm my whole life,” said Eric. “I tried carpentry and later worked at a nursery as a landscaper laying paver patios and building rock walls.”

Landscaping didn’t employ year-round so he began work at a large dairy.  This is also how he met his wife Alison. “I enjoyed my work on the dairy farm and that’s when I realized I missed working on the farm where I grew up,” said Eric.

FSA Loans Lend a Hand to California Farmer

Family adversity brought Sam Pesina back home to his family’s Fresno County, Calif., farm.  But it was the love of farming that kept him.

“When my dad got bone marrow cancer, there was never any question that I would return home,” said Pesina. “My dad wouldn’t have trusted anyone else [to run the farm].” So he packed his bags, glanced back at the 12 years he spent in Hawaii working in finance and starting his own mortgage brokerage company, and headed back to Orange Cove to care for his father and the farm he grew up on.

Farming Dreams and Independence Day

As we reflect on this important month that celebrates our nation’s 235th anniversary, I thought I’d share a story about how Farm Service Agency (FSA) in California is helping people achieve and celebrate their own version of the American Dream.  This morning, I visited with a Liberian immigrant farming 50 acres of fruits and vegetables in the Capay Valley.  He has worked with Marianne Morton, county executive director in Yolo, Belle Davis, farm loan manager in San Joaquin, and other USDA staff on various farm loan programs and conservation program issues. Today, he uses an operating loan to further support his farming operations.  As he enthusiastically described his dream of building a small poultry facility near his walnut orchard, I was reminded of the role we at FSA play in helping people dream big things and ultimately achieve them.