COLUMBUS – To help Ohio farmers and agribusinesses finance the upfront costs of this year’s growing season, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague today opened the Ag-LINK application period, which will now be open year-round.
“As the national economy continues to present us with pressing challenges like inflation and supply chain issues, Ag-LINK stands ready to support Ohio’s agriculture community as it prepares for the upcoming growing season,” said Treasurer Sprague. “For more than three decades, this program has served as a trusted tool for farmers and agribusinesses looking to finance the costs of operation.”
This year and for the first time ever, the application period will be open year-round and broken into four quarters. New reduced interest rate figures will be announced at the start of each quarter. For the quarter beginning today, Ag-LINK will provide a 0.5% interest rate reduction on agriculture business operation loans at eligible banks, credit unions, and farm credit lenders.
“As I travel across Ohio, I regularly hear stories of how farmers’ borrowing needs go beyond the lead-up to the growing season,” Sprague said. “By keeping the program open year-round, we can ensure that much-needed capital is more readily available when our Ag leaders need it most – whenever that may be. Our office is proud to work hand-in-hand in serving our agricultural community, and we remain committed to finding new and innovative ways to modernize Ag-LINK.”
The Ohio Treasurer’s office administers the Ag-LINK program to help Ohio farm operators and other agricultural businesses finance the upfront operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, equipment, and other costs.
Eligible farm operators and agribusinesses:
· Must be organized for profit;
· Must have headquarters and 51% of operations maintained in Ohio;
· Must use the loan exclusively for agricultural purposes; and
· Must agree to comply with all program and financial institution regulations.
The Treasurer’s office is working with the Ohio General Assembly to make necessary statutory updates to Ag-LINK that will further help the program to keep pace with the diverse borrowing needs of the agriculture community. As part of the broader Ohio Gains initiative, Treasurer Sprague has proposed adding agricultural cooperatives (co-ops) as eligible borrowers and removing existing loan and program caps to provide borrowers with greater flexibility.
Ag-LINK has been supporting Ohio’s farm community since 1986. In fiscal year 2021, the Treasurer’s office helped 571 farmers and agribusinesses lower their interest rates for new loans totaling $63 million.
Those interested in Ag-LINK should contact their financial institution to begin the online loan application process. More information on the Ag-LINK program can be found online here.