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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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House approves bill to fund finance program for farmers

Thursday, March 5, 2020

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House on Thursday provided broad, bipartisan approval of a bill to replenish funds for the state’s depleted Rural Finance Authority loan program for helps farmers.

Upon enactment, the bill would provide $50 million to the RFA after the program ran dry Feb. 21. State Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, said the RFA’s programs are popular among farmers and passage of the bill now will help to ensure a smoother crop season.

“Farmers already have enough unpredictability in their day-to-day lives and questions over whether RFA funding would be available were only adding to the burden,” Swedzinski said. “It’s good we got this bill done now so farmers know what resources will be available for the upcoming crop season. The RFA has some popular financing tools, so farmers should be happy with this outcome.”

Swedzinski said the RFA partners with agricultural lenders to provide low-cost financing to farmers on terms and conditions not otherwise available from other credit sources. The RFA portion of the loan is carried at a reduced interest rate to improve the cash flow of eligible farmers. RFA offer loans within the beginning farmer loan and seller assisted program, agricultural improvement program, debt restructuring program, and livestock expansion programs. 

The bill, which passed the House 127-2, now awaits action in the Minnesota Senate.