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House Democrats block proposal to replenish funding for farm loans

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

ST. PAUL – Minnesota House Democrats on Wednesday unanimously voted against and blocked a House Republican proposal to allocate funds for a depleted loan program which aids farmers.

The Rural Finance Authority loan program runs out of funds on Friday, according the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. House Republicans attempted to replenish those funds to eliminate uncertainty for farmers and help them prepare for the upcoming growing season.

“The House majority failed our farmers today,” said Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston. “It’s that simple. There is no point in waiting until later this session to replenish funding for a pot we already know is running dry. All that’s going to happen by waiting is that farmers will continue to be in limbo as we enter the new growing season.”

Green 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.

House Republicans attempted to allocate $50 million to the RFA on Wednesday.

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