COLUMBUS, Ohio — Treasurer Sprague is reminding Ohio farmers, agribusinesses and agricultural cooperatives (co-ops) that the Ag-LINK program is available year-round as they plan for the 2023 growing season.
“With interest rates continuing to climb, Ag-LINK plays a critical role in keeping costs down for Ohio’s agriculture industry,” said Treasurer Sprague. “Thanks to constructive feedback from ag leaders across the state, we’ve taken Ag-LINK to the next level and made it more useful than ever. After a record-setting year in 2022, we’re ready to once again put our balance sheet to work and support even more farmers across the state.”
Through Ag-LINK, farmers, agribusinesses, and co-ops can receive an interest rate reduction on new or existing operating loans. For more than 30 years, the program has helped Ohio’s agriculture community to finance the upfront costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, equipment, and other expenses.
An eligible borrower:
- Is either organized for profit or as an agricultural cooperative;
- Must have headquarters and 51% of operations maintained in Ohio;
- Must use the loan exclusively for agricultural purposes; and
- Must agree to comply with all program and financial institution regulations.
In 2022, the long-standing program underwent a significant revamp. Treasurer Sprague made the program available year-round to provide borrowers with greater flexibility and ensure they can access capital whenever they need it most. It also makes Ag-LINK more convenient for both crop and livestock farmers with diverse borrowing needs that occur throughout the year. Additionally, legislation passed in accordance with the Treasurer’s Ohio Gains initiative added co-ops as eligible borrowers and removed the outdated $150,000 statutory cap on loan size, allowing the program to keep pace with modern borrowing needs. Loan caps are now assessed and set by the Treasurer’s office on an annual basis.
The loan cap for 2023 has been set at $500,000 and the minimum loan discount for the year’s first quarter is 2.0%.
Following a series of reforms to Ag-LINK, 2022 became a record-setting year for the program. In total, the Treasurer’s office supported nearly 1,900 loans to agricultural businesses across the state totaling more than $362 million. Ag-LINK also saved Ohio’s agriculture community more than $2 million in 2022.
More information on the Ag-LINK program, including how to get started, can be found at www.tos.ohio.gov/ag-link/.
— Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague