Agriculture eligible for new Pa. loans


HARRISBURG, Pa. – Agriculture is now eligible for $100 million in funding under the First Industries Program, which was signed into law by Pa. Gov. Edward G. Rendell as part of the state’s economic stimulus package.

“Farmers have tremendous capital needs when you consider the average cost of land, vehicles, equipment and operating costs, which includes everything from seed to fertilizer,” said Agriculture Secretary Dennis C. Wolff.

“Most farmers are already planning their spring planting, and that begins with finding financing.”

Through dedicated funding in the Small Business First and Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund programs, the commonwealth will partner with lenders to reduce risk and stretch limited resources, Wolff said.

$100 million for agriculture. The First Industries Program, totals $150 million, $100 million for agriculture and $50 million for tourism.

Financed through bond sales, this money will mainly support the Small Business First and Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund programs.

In addition, the First Industries Program can be used for providing guarantees on private lender financing, and for capitalizing revolving loan funds operated by the private sector.

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