Micro-loans have been popular among farmers while they wait on new farm bill

The first week of January is the time local farmers and ranchers are hoping that Congress will give its approval to a new farm bill which would be the first to get approval in five years.

Arthur Douglas, Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture’s State Farm Service office, said good things have been happening statewide and locally and one is the micro-loan program which was launched almost a year ago.

On <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/328/2013_12_18_328_17293_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s Crosstalk show</a>, Douglas said the program which his office administers is for up to $35,000 and an individual can come in and borrow the money to make a payment, or perhaps purchase some cattle or livestock.

“The interest rate of that is like 1.875%. So it’s very enticing for folks to come in,” Douglas explained. “Just this last year we’ve done about 62 of these loans for a total of $1.2 million.

“So we’re getting folks that are utilizing this. There’s no red tape involved to speak of. It’s easy in easy out. It helps pay their annual expenses, fertilizer, seed costs.”

Douglas said the program is definitely being utilized.

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