Bennett urges farmers to take advantage of disaster loan program

Published 9:17 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rep. Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, is encouraging farmers impacted by recent storms to take advantage of the Disaster Recovery Loan Program through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. According to the Department of Agriculture, 0-percent loans will be available to assist farmers with flood-related cleanup, repair and replacement costs that are not covered by insurance. The program is administered through the Minnesota Rural Finance Authority, which is funded by the Legislature.

“With the low commodity prices, farmers are already in a stressful spot this year, so the reducing crop yield and other damage from recent storms and flooding in our area is particularly devastating,” Bennett said. “I encourage our local farmers to take advantage of this loan program to help mitigate some of the loss. If anyone has questions about the program, feel free to contact my office; I’d be happy to help in any way I can.”

Gov. Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency in 36 counties, as well as the Red Lake Nation last week: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Jackson, Kittson, Lake, Lyon, Mahnomen, Martin, Mille Lacs, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, St. Louis, Waseca and Watonwan.

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According to the department, “loans can be used to help clean up farm operations, repair or replace farm structures, and replace seed, other crop inputs, feed and livestock” or to repair and restore farm real estate that was damaged by flooding.”

The loan program will be available for farmers through existing agricultural lenders, with the RFA loans limited to 45 percent of the principal up to a maximum of $200,000.

Bennett represents three counties — Faribault, Freeborn and Mower — that were included in the emergency declaration.

Constituents are encouraged to contact the Rural Finance Authority for more information by calling 651-201-6004 or by visiting Bennett’s office can be reached by calling 651-296-8216 or by email at