Farmland encompasses 14.3 million acres across 75,700 individual farms in the state of Ohio, according to the Ohio Farm Bureau.
The Office of the Ohio Treasurer also reported that Ohio agriculture contributes $98 million to the economy annually. Agriculture is a pivotal asset in the Buckeye state; such an asset must be protected.
However, each year, a farmer’s output and return are dependent on uncontrollable risks, such as the cost of fuel and seed, weather, and changing market prices. Farmers often finance these costs in anticipation of an oncoming season. The state treasurer of Ohio, Josh Mandel, upholds a program to alleviate such expenses, entitled Agricultural Linked Deposit or Ag-LINK.
Ag-LINK is structured to decrease the current interest rate on a loan or reduce the interest rate on a line of credit. According to the Office of the Ohio Treasurer, Ag-LINK has saved farmers more than $2.8 billion in interest rate reductions since its founding.
Do you qualify?
A farmer must meet certain qualifications in order to be deemed eligible. An eligible farmer must:
- Utilize the money for agricultural use only
- Be borrowing from an eligible financial institution
- Have a majority of land and operations within the state
- Be a for-profit business and must also agree with all program requirements.
If you, or a farmer you know, meet these requirements, then you may be fit to qualify for Ag-LINK. But, the deadline to apply is quickly approaching.
So how do you apply?
Ohio farmers can apply online to receive the benefits associated with Ag-LINK. Farmers may apply for a maximum savings of $150,000. The Ohio Treasurers office will review the application. If approved, the Treasurer’s office invests in the farmer’s bank; subsequently, the eligible farmer receives a reduced interest rate for one year. Ag-LINK has already contributed to the savings of more than 40,000 Ohio farmers.
In order to qualify, farmers must act according to schedule. Below is a look at the Ag-LINK schedule, according to the State Treasurer of Ohio.
- March 13, 2013 at 5 p.m.: Application deadline
- April 5, 2013: Lender notification
- April 12, 2013: Lender’s Deadline
- April 15, 2013: Funding Begins
- June 28, 2013: Funding Ends
- April 16, 2014: Ag-LINK ends
The full schedule includes details regarding each step of the process.
Visit the Ag-LINK questionnaire to see if you qualify.