Ag-LINK (Extreme Weather Relief)
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Due to the extreme weather that has taken a devastating toll on parts of Ohio, Treasurer Robert Sprague has re-opened the application period for the Ag-LINK program.
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 addition of a second application period can provide significant savings and much needed relief to farmers and agribusinesses impacted by recent storms and floods.
How does this special enrollment for Ag-LINK work?
Ohio farm operators and other agriculture businesses can apply for an interest rate reduction on a new or existing loan or line of credit up to $150,000. If a farm operator or other agribusiness applied during the normal open enrollment cycle this year, but did not request the full $150,000 program limit, they can apply for a second enrollment for up to the balance of the program limit. Print an application for information gathering purposes if needed. The actual application must be completed online through a participating financial institution .
Lenders must complete and submit applications on behalf of their borrowers and use the Banker Login to access the online application (if new to Ag-LINK please reference the Online Portal Banker Guide for the Ag-LINK Portal). Note to lenders, you can use the application cloning feature in the portal for existing Ag-LINK participants.
When an eligible participant’s application is accepted, the Ohio Treasurer’s office places an investment with the financial institution that will expire within one year from date funded. In turn, the lender lowers the interest rate on the farmer’s loan by 2%
Eligible applicants represent a wide variety of businesses within the agriculture community, including but not limited to traditional farming, aquaculture, livestock, orchards, hydroponics, and in this case the businesses that supply or have direct dependencies on agriculture.
In order to qualify for the Agricultural Linked Deposit Program (Ag-LINK), applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Must be organized for profit,
- Must have headquarters and 51% of operations maintained in Ohio,
- Must obtain an operating loan or line of credit from a participating bank or Farm Credit Services lender,
- Use the loan for agricultural related purposes, and
- Must agree to comply with all program and bank regulations.
Agriculture is one of Ohio’s most important industries. It employs one-in-seven Ohioans and pumps over $90 billion into our economy each year. It is important that Ohio farm operators and agriculture businesses receive the help they need to offset the risks of variable fuel costs, unpredictable weather, and shifts in market prices.
What is the process?
- Business seeks approval for a loan or line of credit from a participating bank or farm credit service lender.
- After the lender and borrower agree on the loan terms, the lender submits an online application to the Ohio Treasurer’s office.
- Economic Development Officers at the Ohio Treasurer’s office evaluate the applications and approve funds based on economic need.
- The Ohio Treasurer’s office will set and announce the loan interest rate reduction and linked deposit rate with the participating financial institutions.
- Lenders accept the funding terms for each application and lower the interest rate of the loan as agreed.
- Borrowers can receive interest rate reductions as soon as the loan closes and funds are withdrawn or disbursed.
NOTE: This enrollment process has been modified from the standard program to allow funds to be disbursed immediately after the loan closes. This process is unique for this special enrollment window in 2019.
Interest Calculation Worksheet
The current Ag-LINK interest calculator is now available for funds that mature on or before April 15, 2020. This calculator is used by banks to calculate the amount of interest payable to the Ohio Treasurer at maturity, and for early redemptions. We will post a new interest calculator for the 2019 Extreme Weather program by the end of July 2019.