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State lawmakers want to expand agricultural loan program

Published Feb. 15, 2012 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Rep. Robert Sprague (speaking) is joined by OFBF's Beth Vanderkooi (left) and lawmakers in support of expanding Ag-LINK.

Buckeye Farm News

Ohio Farm Bureau is supporting legislation to modify the Agricultural Linked Deposit Program, which permits the state treasurer to invest in lending institutions that lend money to agricultural businesses at a reduced interest rate.

Sponsored by state Reps. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, and Brian Hill, R-Zanesville, H.B. 415 will increase the maximum amount that the treasurer may invest in agricultural linked deposits from $125 million to $165 million. It also would increase the maximum amount that can be loaned from $100,000 per application to $150,000 per application. Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, sponsored the companion legislation – S.B. 281 – in the Senate.

The increased amounts were recommended by the state treasurer due to the growth of the state’s investment portfolio and will serve to boost Ohio’s agricultural community.

According to lawmakers, the Ag-LINK program has helped 40,000 farmers over the past 25 years.

“Ag-LINK seasonal startup loans can help farmers invest in much needed supplies like feed, seed, fertilizerand fuel that are crucial to a successful business. Ohio farmers deal with enough red tape, and that’s why wehave streamlined and improved the program over the years,” said Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, whose officeadministers the Ag-LINK program. “This legislation will help codify some of these important changes goingforward, which should make it easier for more Ohio farmers to take advantage of Ag-LINK.”

ONLINE EXTRA:

Listen to a Town Hall Ohio radio show featuring Treasurer Mandel

Photo credit: Photo submitted



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