Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel has announced a new financial assistance package for beginning farmers trying to make their way in an expensive industry.
The Missouri Linked Deposit loan program is geared toward small businesses in the state, and the financial opportunity applies to new farmers, too. Treasurer Zweifel says the program is simple, his office partners with community banks that lend to agriculture operations, and negotiate a lower interest on loans for expensive capital like equipment and land: “Agriculture specifically is what put us on the global map as a state. It’s critical that we invest in agriculture in our state. It’s an important part of Missouri’s economy. It’s important to our food supply. When you add in small business to that piece, you know, those are really the job creators for our state.”
This year the program is boosted by loan guarantees and fee waivers from the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. Last year, the Missouri Linked Deposit Program issued $24 million in loans to more than 200 beginning farmers. That added up to a savings of about $370,000 in interest payments.
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