MLive recently reported that Governor Rick Snyder approved over $36 million in supplemental funds to the 2013 budget. The $48.5 billion budget was already an increase over the previous year by 1.25%, but Snyder deemed the extra funds worthwhile in the long run. While the largest portion of these funds ($17.6 million) is going into prison security, another sizeable piece of these funds is going into providing agricultural loans.

$15 million is dedicated to the Agricultural Loan Origination Program, which makes Michigan farmers and producers in designated crop damage disaster areas eligible for low-interest loans. The funds must cover the loans, their origination fees, and the administrative costs involved.

Farm owners who have suffered either a loss of 25 percent or more in major enterprises or production loss of 50 percent or more in a single crop qualify for these loans. Cherry and apple producers, who were especially hard hit, should be greatly supported by these funds. The program is “designed to provide a lifeline to these growers and operators that have been devastated by this loss,” says Representative Ray Franz.

The new loan availability is great news for farmers who are struggling due to crop loss, and such relief will allow for continued innovation and community support from these rural producers.

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