The Michigan Treasury Department has started implementing the $15 million Agriculture Loan Origination Program. Michigan farmers who sustained crop losses because of this spring’s heavy rain and flooding now can receive relief when applying for low-interest loans.
Approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the program is open to farmers, growers, processors and farm-related retailers.
“Agriculture is a critical piece of our state’s economy,” state Treasurer Rachael Eubanks says. “These loans will help our farmers until next year’s planting season. Treasury is ready to begin processing applications and making these funds available, so we can provide relief to Michigan’s farmers.”
Farmers should check with their local banks and other financial institutions to see if they are participating in the Agriculture Loan Origination Program. The state is paying the loan origination fees to reduce the cost of the loans, while the financial institutions are assuming the risk associated with providing the loans.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has launched an online resource and information portal, so farmers can find the help they need this year. The site is being updated as new information is identified, including resources from partners such as Michigan State University Extension and the USDA.
“Michigan’s farming community was hit hard by a trifecta of weather events this year — extreme cold, severe snow and torrential rainfalls,” MDARD Director Gary McDowell says. “This loan program underscores Michigan’s commitment to help our farming families move forward. Eliminating the loan origination fees helps alleviate some of the financial distress many of our farmers are already feeling from low commodity prices and more.”
For farmer-related disaster relief information, visit michigan.gov/cropdisaster.