COLUMBUS - Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has announced that the application period for Ohio farmers to participate in the Ohio Treasury's 2014 Agricultural Linked Deposit Program (Ag-LINK) has opened. Farmers may submit online applications for interest rate reductions on agricultural start-up loans through Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 5:00 PM.
"Agriculture is one of Ohio's most important industries," said Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. "Ohio's farmers put the food on tables that Ohio families eat and their work helps make our state economically strong. As they begin to prepare for their upcoming season, Ohio's farmers work to maximize their investments and cover up-front costs for things like feed, seed, fertilizer and fuel that are vital to a successful harvest."
Through Ag-LINK, now in its 29th year of existence, Ohio farmers can apply for an interest rate reduction on new or existing loans or lines of credit up to $150,000. Applications are accepted on an annual basis, this year from January 15 through March 12. Lenders must complete and submit applications online on behalf of their borrowers at www.aglink.ohio.gov. If an eligible farmer's application is accepted, the Ohio Treasurer's office places an investment with the financial institution for one year. In turn, the lender lowers the interest rate on the farmer's loan according to the rate reduction established annually by the Treasurer's office.
Building on last year's modernization of the application process, lenders will complete and submit the program application exclusively online. The Treasurer's office is continually working to make the program easier to navigate in order to better serve both the lenders and the farmers taking part in Ag-LINK.
In order to participate in Ag-LINK, farms must be for-profit and be headquartered, along with more than half of their operations maintained, in Ohio. To qualify, a farmer must apply and be approved for an operating loan or line of credit from a farm credit lender or eligible bank. After approval, the applicant may apply for an interest rate reduction from the Ohio Treasury's Ag-LINK program.
Below is the timeline for the 2014 Ag-LINK program:
• Ag-LINK applications must be received online by the Economic Development Department at the State Treasurer's office no later than 5:00 PM on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
• Once the application process has been completed, notification of each application's status will be sent to each lender no later than Friday, April 4, 2014.
• The State Treasurer's office is requiring lenders to confirm acceptance or denial of the linked deposit for each application they have submitted by Friday, April 11, 2014. This is only to confirm that the borrowers will participate in Ag-LINK.
• Requests for funding will be accepted from Monday, April 21, 2014 through Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
Detailed information on the program and eligibility requirements can be found by visiting the State Treasurer's website at www.OhioTreasurer.gov/AgLINK or by calling the State Treasurer's Economic Development Department at 1-800-228-1102 (Option #3).