COLUMBUS -Twenty-one farmers in Seneca County have been approved to receive $1,470,500 in interest rate reductions on operating loans and lines of credit through the state treasurer's Agricultural Linked Deposit Program.
They were among more than 700 farms in 64 counties who received $59.1 million this year through the program.
"The Ohio Treasury's Ag-LINK program helps Ohio farmers get the most out of each harvest season, and is an important tool to help reduce the up-front burden of paying for things like feed, seed, fertilizer and fuel," said Treasurer Josh Mandel. "Agriculture is one of Ohio's most important industries, impacting every corner of the state. Giving Ohio farmers an opportunity to maximize their returns helps all Ohioans and improves the overall economy."
Ag-LINK, an annual program that has been in place for 27 years, allows farmers to apply for interest-rate reductions on new or existing loans or lines of credit up to $100,000. Applications to enroll in the program were accepted from January through March. To be eligible, applicants must be organized for profit, must have headquarters and 51 percent of operations maintained in Ohio, must obtain an operating loan or line of credit from an eligible bank or Farm Credit lender, must use the loan exclusively for agricultural purposes and must agree to comply with all program and bank regulations.
Mandel and legislators have proposed changes to the Ag-LINK program. Updates are working their way through the legislative process. Among other things, legislation would raise the maximum amount of an individual loan from $100,000 to $150,000. The limit initially was enacted more than 25 years ago. The legislation also updates from $125 million to $165 million the amount available for Ag-LINK deposits.
In addition to legislative changes, the application has been streamlined and improved to make it easier for farmers to apply, and for the first time, this year's entire application process was completed online.
For more information, visit www.OhioTreasurer.gov/AgLink.