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RELEASE: Rep. Jeff Backer Statement on House Democrats Vote to Block Proposal to Replenish Funding for Rural Finance Authority

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

ST. PAUL – On Wednesday, Minnesota House Democrats unanimously voted against and blocked a proposal to move a bipartisan bill that would have allocated funds for the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) loan program, which runs out of funds on Friday, February 21st according the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

State Representative Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley, issued the following statement in response to the vote.

“I am disappointed that House Democrats voted against the interests of farmers and rural communities today,” said Backer. “The legislature had a chance to do the right thing and provide these funds to farmers as they begin preparing for another planting season. Sadly, the needs of farmers and rural Minnesota have once again been ignored by House Democrats.”

Backer 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.