Assembly clears bill establishing loan program for farmers

Assembly clears bill establishing loan program for farmers

Harold J. Wirths

TRENTON, N.J. – Legislation assisting farms with loans to buy equipment was approved today by the Assembly. Sponsored by Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Ron Dancer, the bill (S2401/A3810/2535) creates a 15-year small-loan program for farmers, farm co-ops and dairies to finance machinery purchases. The program will be administered by the Economic Development Authority.

“There’s no way around it. Modern farm equipment is very expensive,” said Wirths (R-Sussex). “The federal government has a loan program for farmers, but the thin profit margins can make the short loan durations impractical for farmers. These long-term loans will be more farmer-friendly, with lower interest rates and payments.”

Wirths noted the loans can be especially useful for value-added dairy operations producing cheese, cultured sour cream, yogurt, butter and ice cream.

Ron Dancer

“In the Garden State, farms are a big part of our identity,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “This program and the loans could be the difference in farms remaining in business or shutting down and selling out to developers.”

Sen. Steve Oroho sponsors the Senate bill, which passed unanimously in January.