The Rural Finance Authority Board has issued a Disaster Declaration for the State of Minnesota. That now makes low interest loans available for farmers whose operations incurred barn roof collapses or other kinds of damage because of the record snowfall this winter. The funds are available to farmers for costs that are not covered by insurance.

There was a "glitch" in the program that required a law be passed by the Minnesota House, Senate and be signed by Governor Walz. The program was developed and a Disaster Declaration pertained to damage to public property. The Minnesota House and Senate acted quickly to pass a bill giving the Rural Finance Authority the power to declare a Disaster for private property. Governor Walz signed the bill into law earlier this week.

It was nice to see bipartisan support for the bill and the action taken so quickly by the Legislature and Governor Walz. The loans are zero percent interest but this is not a grant, the principal will have to be paid back. The money can be used to help clean up, repair, or replace farm structures and septic water systems along with replace crop inputs, feed and livestock. For more information go to the Disaster Recovery Loan on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website.

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