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Legislature to Give $165 Million in Reduced-Interest Loans to Farmers

The state would make more discounted loans available to farmers who want to under a proposal from Republicans who control the Ohio Legislature.

A House bill, along with companion legislation in the Senate, would extend the state’s Agricultural Linked Deposit program (Ag-LINK), according to reports by media outlets.

Funding available through the state would increase from $125 million to $165 million. A farmer could borrow up to $150,000 at a reduced interest rate, up from $100,000.

Ag-LINK was launched in 1985. Since then, it has lent about $2.8 billion to 40,000 Ohio farmers, including more than 800 in 67 counties during 2011.

The state funds the program by placing deposits with eligible financial institutions at below-market rates; lenders then cut interest rates on the farmers’ operating loans.

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