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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nathan Nelson (R)

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

ST. PAUL, MN – On Wednesday, February 19, Rep. Nathan Nelson (R-Hinckley) supported and voted in favor of a proposal to move bipartisan legislation that would have allocated funding for the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) loan program, which runs out of funds on Friday, February 21st, according to the MN Department of Agriculture. The proposal was blocked by Minnesota House Democrats unanimously voting against the measure.

“Minnesota farmers rely on the RFA and are counting on the legislature to make sure they can access the low-cost financing it provides,” said Rep. Nelson. “With the RFA running out this week, farmers need these critical funds to make decisions as they prepare for the upcoming planting season. This funding is too important to leave to last-minute negotiations and I worry this was a missed opportunity to help agriculture in our state.”

Nelson added that, without this legislation, the funding would have to wait until this session's bonding bill in May, which may not be passed if an agreement isn't reached by legislators

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

The proposal attempted to allocate $50 million to the RFA.