The Iowa Finance Authority recently named Luana Savings Bank as Agricultural Bank of the Year and its senior ag loan officer, Steven Ruzicka, as Agricultural Loan Officer of the Year. The awards recognize the bank and Ruzicka with the highest amount loaned to beginning farmers through the Iowa Beginning Farmer Loan Program in 2018.
“I congratulate Luana Savings Bank and Steven Ruzicka for this well-deserved recognition honoring their commitment to assisting beginning farmers,” says Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Finance Authority. “Last year alone, we assisted nearly 100 farmers in purchasing a total of 5,600 acres, as well as machinery, equipment and livestock, an accomplishment that would not be possible without outstanding partners like the team at Luana Savings Bank.”
Programs assist beginning farmers
“The IFA’s Beginning Farmer programs are vital to assisting farmers at the onset of their careers, so they can continue our state’s rich agricultural history,” Ruzicka says. “We’re honored to receive this recognition and look forward to helping even more farmers in the years to come.”
The Iowa Beginning Farmer Loan Program provides low-interest loans to assist new farmers in acquiring agricultural property. Beginning Farmer Loans are financed by participating lenders or contract sellers with federal tax-exempt bonds issued by IFA. The interest received on contract sales or direct loans by individuals is also exempt from state income taxes. Information about beginning farmer programs is available at iowafinanceauthority.gov/IADD.
The Iowa Legislature created the Iowa Finance Authority in 1975 to undertake programs to assist in the attainment of housing for low- and moderate-income Iowans. Since then, the agency’s role has grown to include affordable housing, water quality and agricultural development programs.