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

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Disaster Recovery Loan Program now available to farmers for COVID-19 damages

Monday, April 6, 2020


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.

“Like everyone else, farmers are facing a great deal of uncertainty and unknowns as we try to work our way through COVID-19 issues,” said Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent. “The changes we made to this loan program add flexibility to help us adapt to evolving circumstances. This is a good deal for farmers and I hope these changes are helpful to them.”

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.