Helping farmers with low-interest loans

A $50 million Rural Finance Authority (RFA) Bonding bill passed this week to give farmers the financial support they need in the form of low-interest loans. The popular and successful low-interest loan program has benefited Minnesota farmers for more than 30 years. The program ran out of money in late February, and legislators responded by passing this bipartisan legislation. The funding for this program is especially important during this time of extreme weather conditions, farm mental health crisis, historically low commodity prices, and uncertainty with global trading partners. The funding will guarantee more loan availability to farmers, and it will allow the RFA to purchase portions of private loans from lenders to farmers and charge a lower interest rate, resulting in a blended interest rate for farmers that is lower than what is usually available in the private market. The bill has widespread support among legislators and stakeholders and is viewed as a smart investment in Minnesota’s agriculture industry and the farmers who sustain that industry with their hard work. (HF 2959)