Loan Relief Programs for Ag

May 12, 2020

As a result of COVID-19, a number of loan programs recently became available to Agricultural businesses, including Federal Programs like the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. State Programs like the Hawaii Board of Agriculture Emergency Loan Program are also now available.

Join us Thursday for an online webcast to hear about relief programs for your Ag business. Guest speakers from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will share:

  • Who is eligible
  • Types of assistance available
  • How to apply including what forms to complete
  • What you can prepare now for further USDA funding opportunities

Gerry Smith, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) and Wayne Wong, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be joined on this call by Patrick Lewis , County Executive Director, USDA​; James Robello, Maui County Executive Director, Maui FSA​ and Richard “Buddy” Nichols, Manager, Farm Loan Programs, Maui FSA

Hear from the experts and get your questions answered so you can get the assistance you need.

Maui County

This webcast is the fourth of an ongoing series – the COVID-19 Business Assistance Series, sponsored by the County of Maui, aimed at helping our small businesses navigate the resources available to them, with clear step-by-step instructions.

Ag and COVID-19 – Loan Relief Programs

Thursday May 14 4:30 pm HST

You can watch and participate on your web browser on any device, including your phone. Dial-in options also available. A recording will be available 3-4 hours post live event.

Gerry Smith, Director of Business Development, MEDB

An MBA Graduate with a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, Gerry Smith has been doing business in the Pacific since moving from the east coast to work as Finance Officer for the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal in 1990. He has nearly 15 years in Defense Contracting, most of that in Honolulu. Gerry is currently the Director of Business Development for the Maui Economic Development Board.


Wayne Wong, Director, SBDC

Wayne Wong is a recovering “technologist” with over 30 years of Information Technology experience including several senior management positions during the heyday of the “dot com” era. He is also a co-founder and co-producer of the Grammy Award winning live concert series “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar”. He currently utilizes his entrepreneur expertise as the Director of the Hawaii Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Maui Center, providing no-cost business counseling, advice and training to Maui County. Mr. Wong graduated from Kamehameha High Schools and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Puget Sound.

Patrick Lewis, Chief/District Director, Farm Programs, Hawaii State & Pacific Basin Office FSA

Patrick Lewis is the Farm Programs Chief for the Farm Service Agency for Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. He oversees farm program activities throughout the service area, and is based on Oahu. This is his 9th year with the agency, and he moved to Hawaii from Washington State in early 2019.


James Robello, County Executive Director, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)

James Robello is the County Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) serving farmers and ranchers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. FSA has three main program areas. Crop and livestock disaster assistance, conservation and the farm loan program.


Richard “Buddy” Nichols, Farm Loan Manager for Maui County FSA

Buddy Nichols is the USDA Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Manager for Maui County.  He is a fourth-generation farmer who owned and operated his self-sufficient farm for more than 30 years.  The USDA Farm Loan Program presently has a $11M loan portfolio with over 115 borrowers from Lanai, Molokai, and Maui.  Farm Ownership and  Direct Operating Loans are offered through this program.