Ohio Legislation Would Boost Farm Loan Program

A farmer working his fields.(Photo: stitchenal/Flickr)
A farmer working his fields.(Photo: stitchenal/Flickr)

Republicans have proposed Ohio legislation that would give the state more money to make discounted loans available to farmers who want to grow their businesses.

Media outlets report that a House proposal, along with a companion Senate bill, would extend the state’s Agricultural Linked Deposit program, called Ag-LINK.

The program’s maximum annual funding through the state Treasury would increase from $125 million to $165 million. An individual farmer could borrow up to $150,000 at a reduced interest rate, up from $100,000.

The loans allow farmers to buy feed, seed, fertilizer and fuel and pay other operating costs.

Ag-LINK was launched in 1985. The treasurer’s office says it has loaned about $2.8 billion to more than 40,000 Ohio farmers, including more than 800 in 67 counties during 2011.