ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Disaster Recovery Loan Program is now accessible to farmers who are suffering financial damages related to the COVID-19 outbreak after the Legislature expanded access to the funds.
Legislative approval of a bill March 26 increased program flexibility, providing a resource to farmers for expenses not covered by insurance.
“Our farmers are being hit hard by this outbreak and this change provides them some additional resources,” said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township. “We need to be flexible, providing common-sense discretion where we can while still maintaining the integrity and spirit of programs such as this. I hope this move is helpful to farmers because they are the backbone of our society and keep our local economies alive. ”
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) indicates program dollars can be used to “replace livestock or flocks, make building improvements, or cover the loss of revenue. Loan proceeds may also be used to repair or replace septic and water systems, and replace destroyed agricultural buildings.”
The program is coordinated by the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) and farmers will work through their local lenders to secure financing. The MDA reports the RFA participation in a qualifying loan is limited to 45 percent of the principal amount, up to $200,000. Other terms, conditions and qualification standards apply and can be found at the MDA website, or by calling (651) 201-6666.