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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tim Miller (R)

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Monday, January 16, 2017

ST. PAUL – In an effort to better assist farmers with low cost financing, State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) is sponsoring legislation that would build up funds for the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) loan program.


“RFA funds are basically dried up, and farmers can’t wait for their inclusion in a year-end bonding bill,” Miller said. “For farmers in crisis these funds are extremely beneficial, so I’m pressing legislative leaders to hear my bill immediately.”


Miller 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.


Miller’s bill calls for $35 million in bond proceeds to be allocated for future RFA loans.


"RFA funds are user financed and have had a high success rate since the program was first introduced in 1986,” Miller said. “This is not a solution for everyone but has acted as a great stabilizer in agricultural economics."


RFA uses bond funds to offer loans within the beginning farmer loan and seller assisted program, agricultural improvement program, debt restructuring program, and livestock expansion programs.


Miller’s bill will receive its first hearing the Minnesota House Agriculture Finance Committee.