Gov. Dayton signed the $35 million Rural Finance Authority (RFA) bill into law Friday, one day after Senator Andrew Lang (R-Olivia) led its unanimous passage through the Senate. The legislation replenishes funding to the RFA, which advances loans to qualifying farmers throughout Minnesota.
“This is excellent news for all Minnesotans, but especially for the farmers and other ag producers who may rely on the RFA,” said Sen. Lang. “The specialized, low-interest loans that the RFA provides are a valuable resource for farmers who may need help to start, to expand their operation, or to recover after a disaster.”
The RFA program has issued $215 million in loans since 1986 and is funded through state-issued bonds. The loan principals are paid back to the state over the term of the loan, including interest, meaning the program recoups the money that it advances. The RFA works with agricultural lenders to provide loans with terms that are not available through other means. The program must be renewed every several years after the initial appropriation runs out.
“I am grateful to my fellow legislators for lending such broad, bipartisan, and unanimous support, as well as to the governor for expeditiously signing this legislation into law” Sen. Lang continued. “There was not a single dissenting vote cast throughout this process, which signals the commitment of this legislature to the needs of those in Greater Minnesota. I am very proud that we were able to get this done.”
Sen. Lang is in his first term representing Minnesota Senate District 17, which includes communities in Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Renville, and Swift counties.