PA Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, Rep. Rich Irvin, and the chairs of the Senate and House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committees announced the relaunch of the Agriculture Linked (Agri-Link) Investment Program. The program offers low-interest loans to Pennsylvania agriculture operations implementing best management practices (BMPs).
“Giving our farmers access to these affordable loans once again will help sustain agriculture operations in every corner of the Commonwealth,” Garrity said. “Agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of our state’s economy, and this support will allow farmers to implement new and innovative best practices.”
“How Pennsylvanians farm today has a powerful impact on our ability to feed a growing population tomorrow,” Secretary Redding said. “Measures to improve soil and water and keep our streams clean and our farms growing come at a substantial cost to farmers. We are pleased to subsidize reduced interest rates through Agri-Link and the other PA Farm Bill investments that support the future vitality of our industry and our economy.”
“Our farmers work hard to feed our nation, and they do so while navigating many complex regulations and mandates,” said Representative Irvin, author of the bill that re-established the program. “I am happy to see Agri-Link relaunched to help provide financial assistance to those farmers who want to follow established best management practices but lack the funds for implementation.”
Agri-Link is open to farmers in all 67 counties and offers low-interest loans up to $250,000 with terms no longer than 12 years. More information is available on the Agri-Link page on the Department of Agriculture’s website.
The agriculture industry directly employs more than 300,000 Pennsylvanians and supports nearly 300,000 other jobs statewide. Agriculture operations across the state have a total economic impact of $132.5 billion.
Those interested in applying for the program can do so through their local lending institution or a Farm Credit Service institution. County conservation districts and the SCC review applicants’ projects to determine whether they meet Act 37 criteria. To be eligible, borrowers must have BMP projects included in an approved nutrient management, manure management, agricultural erosion and sedimentation, or other SCC-approved federal or state conservation plans.