Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce recently announced that Ohio farmers can now apply for 2009 funding assistance through the Treasury’s Agricultural Linked Deposit Program (Ag-Link).
Participating banks throughout the state will accept applications for the competitive program through March 13. Ag-Link offers reduced-interest rate loans to farmers who have been hit hard by economic times and need assistance. The treasury allocates $125 million of its annual portfolio for the purchase of reduced-rate certificates of deposits from banks, which then pass the savings on to farmers who have been approved for loans. Recipients are chosen on an as-needed basis.
“Ag-Link is a real and direct way that the state makes aid directly available to farmers who may be struggling right now,” said Boyce. “Family farms and agri-businesses can save up to $3,000 a year in interest rate reductions with this program.”
In order to qualify for Ag-link, farms must be for-profit with headquarters and more than half of their operations maintained in Ohio. Additionally, farmers must have a documented need for the reduced interest rate and may request the reduction for up to the first $100,000 of a loan.
To apply, farmers must first be approved for an operating loan or line of credit from their Farm Credit System lender or a participating bank. After approval, they may then apply for an interest-rate reduction from the Ohio Treasury. The treasury does not restrict how the farmer spends the loan funds, but priority for the rate reduction will be given to farmers using the funds for feed, seed, fertilizer and fuel. Honorably discharged veterans will also receive preference.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 5 p.m. March 13. Applications must be mailed. Faxed applications will not be accepted due to the high demand for the program.
Written notification of the status of each application will be mailed no later than April 6. Treasurer Boyce will announce the amount of money approved in each county in early April. Funding will be available as early as April 8 to assist with spring planting.
Applications and a list of participating lenders are available on the Ohio Treasury Web site at www.ohiotreasurer.gov.