Ohio farmers apply for Ag-Link awards

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COLUMBUS — A total of 1,671 farmers in 87 of Ohio’s 88 counties will receive interest rate reductions on their spring operating loans from the Ohio Treasurer’s Agricultural Linked Deposit program, state treasurer Richard Cordray said.


“We have been working hard to get the word out about this important program,” said Cordray. “In recent years, participation had fallen off in some parts of Ohio, but we think it is important for farmers all over the state to receive the support that the Ag-Link program provides.


Last year, 12 counties didn’t submit any applications, and I’m glad to be able to say that we have gotten that number down to just one in 2008.”

Increase

The last time the treasury received applications from this many counties was 1999, said Cordray.

 
The treasury approved $125 million in requests from farmers and their lenders this year, the maximum allowed by law. Funds will be invested in local banks around Ohio and through the Farm Credit Services, which will then loan the money to participating farms with a 2.15 percent interest rate reduction.

Types

Applications were approved for 1,671 agricultural concerns of all types, from crops and livestock to dairy, produce, nurseries and tobacco.


Honorably discharged veterans and farmers whose operations were damaged by last year’s severe flooding were given preference.


The largest farm whose application was approved is almost 6,200 acres, and the average approved farm is 745 acres.


“We’ve been talking all year with farmers and lenders alike about this program, and have worked directly with the Farm Union and the Farm Bureau. It is gratifying to see that those efforts have paid off in the form of increased variety among the program participants.”

GrowNOW

The treasury received 2,686 applications requesting more than $209 million, said Cordray. Cordray said applicants who were not approved for this year’s Agricultural Linked Deposit program may still apply for the Ohio Treasury’s GrowNOW linked deposit program.


GrowNOW is similar to the Agricultural Linked Deposit program, and provides a 3 percent interest rate reduction to Ohio small businesses. Many farms may qualify for both.
For more information, visit http://www.ohiotreasurer.gov.

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