Minnesota House approves $50 million to replenish RFA
The Minnesota House has approved a plan to replenish funds for the Rural Finance Authority—the state agency that provides loans to farmers.
Ag Committee chair (DFL) Jeanne Poppe of Austin tells Brownfield the RFA bill passed with nearly unanimous support.
“It’s general obligation bonds that we’re seeking. From the Capital Investment (Committee) it went to Ways and Means. And from Ways and Means to the Floor. Last night we had it on the House Floor, passed it, and now it goes to the Senate. Hopefully the Senate will act fairly quickly, and then the Governor can sign it.”
She says there’s only about $100,000 left in the RFA account.
“That essentially means that they’re out of money because as people come forward requesting money, usually it’s not for a small amount. It might be for a larger amount than $100,000. So we really are at the edge of the amount that they can have.”
In the interim, Poppe says people can continue to apply for the funds and whenever the money is back in the account, it will be distributed.
Lawmakers are seeking $50 million, which Poppe says is indicative of the struggling farm economy.
“There is a need right now, and these are low-interest loans. Oftentimes it’s used in conjunction with other funds as well.
The Legislature has replenished the Rural Finance Authority ten times since it spawned out of the 1980’s farm crisis.