Governor Dayton signed a proposal this week that would deliver assistance to 74,000 farmers. The money used for this program lowers the interest rates on loans issued to qualifying farmers. This appropriation will allow eligible farmers to examine their finances and restructure debt. The fund also helps new farmers get access to capital. While the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) has the ability to issue loans directly to farmers, it usually partners with private lenders.
The RFA was established in the 1980s in response to the farm credit crisis. The Authority is controlled by a board that consists of commissioners, the state auditor, and six members appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate. (SF 236)