Ag-LINK Provides Relief to Ohio Farmers During Tough Year
COLUMBUS – To help offset losses created by this year’s extreme weather, Ohio’s farmers and agribusinesses took advantage of the Ag-LINK program’s reduced interest loans. Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced today that 155 new and refinanced loans totaling $18.3 million were made possible through a special Ag-LINK application period he opened this summer.
“I’m proud to be part of a program that, for more than 36 years, has increased opportunities for Ohio’s agriculture community to operate and thrive,” Treasurer Sprague said. “This year, Ag-LINK supported farmers and agribusinesses as they worked to curb the losses caused by unpredictable, severe weather. We’re proud to have provided this assistance during a difficult year and we’ll be ready as farmers prepare for next year’s growing season.”
The Ohio Treasurer’s office administers the Ag-LINK program to help Ohio farm operators and other agricultural businesses finance the up-front operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, and other costs. Treasurer Sprague re-opened the application period for the program in July to help provide relief to farmers and agribusinesses impacted by flooding and other extreme weather. The special application period closed November 15.
Ag-LINK provides an interest rate reduction on agriculture business operation loans at eligible banks and farm credit lenders. Through this round of applications, farm operators and agribusiness owners based in Ohio received a 2% interest rate reduction on loans up to $150,000.
While the application period for the Ag-LINK program has ended, farmers and agribusinesses impacted by severe weather may be eligible for loans through two other economic development programs offered by the Treasurer’s office. The ReEnergize Ohio four-year program provides qualified small business owners with up to a 3% interest rate reduction on new or existing small business loans up to $550,000. These loans can assist with costs related to the repair or replacement of storm-damaged buildings and equipment. Additionally, some small business owners may qualify for the GrowNOW two-year program, which offers up to a 3% interest rate reduction on loans up to $400,000 and is renewable. Under GrowNOW, businesses must commit to creating or retaining at least one full-time or two part-time jobs in the State of Ohio for every $50,000 borrowed.
More information about ReEnergize Ohio and GrowNOW can be found on the Ohio Treasurer’s website.
A new application period for Ag-LINK is expected to open in early 2020.
Robert Sprague became Ohio’s 49th Treasurer of State on January 14, 2019, bringing to the office his extensive experience working on financial matters in both the public and private sectors. Under Treasurer Sprague’s direction, the office manages the state’s $20 billion investment and $10 billion debt portfolios, collects and deposits all state revenues, and oversees custodial assets.