COLUMBUS – Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague is reminding farmers and agribusiness owners that there is still time to obtain reduced interest loans through the Ag-LINK program.

Since the application period was re-opened in July, Ohio’s farming community has turned to the Ag-LINK program for relief after this year’s extreme weather. So far, more than 30 reduced interest rate loans have been made possible through Ag-LINK at a total of $3.45 million.

"I’m pleased that farmers are taking advantage of this program and that it’s making a real difference for Ohio’s agriculture community," said Treasurer Sprague. "It’s been a tough growing season, and we want to make every resource available to help offset some of the losses they’re bound to face this year."

The Ohio Treasurer’s office administers the Ag-LINK program to help Ohio farm operators and other agricultural businesses finance the up-front operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, and other flood related costs. Ag-LINK provides an interest rate reduction on agriculture business operation loans at eligible banks and farm credit lenders. Through this round of applications, farm operators and agribusiness owners based in Ohio can receive a 2% interest rate reduction on loans up to $150,000.

The application period will remain open until November 15th. Farm operators and agribusinesses who previously received loans through Ag-LINK earlier this year may be eligible during this application period if they did not request the $150,000 program limit, or if they want to lower the interest rate on their current Ag-LINK loans.

"As Ohio’s farmers get ready to head out to the fields to harvest, it’s not too late to take advantage of this opportunity," said Treasurer Sprague. "I’m proud of our office’s strong partnership with the banking community as we help provide a boost to a critical sector of our state’s economy during this difficult year."

Those interested in Ag-LINK should contact a participating bank or Farm Credit Service lender to begin the loan application process. More information on the Ag-LINK program, including a list of current participating financial institutions, may be found online.

In addition to the Ag-LINK program, farmers and agribusinesses impacted by severe weather may be eligible for loans through two other economic development programs offered by the Treasurer’s office. The ReEnergize Ohio four-year program provides qualified small business owners with up to a 3% interest rate reduction on new or existing small business loans up to $550,000. These loans can assist with costs related to the repair or replacement of storm-damaged buildings and equipment. Additionally, some small business owners may qualify for the GrowNOW two-year program, which offers up to a 3% interest rate reduction on loans up to $400,000 and is renewable. Under GrowNOW, businesses must commit to creating or retaining at least one full-time or two part-time jobs in the State of Ohio for every $50,000 borrowed.