State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is touring areas of the state to get a first-hand look at the drought-affected farms and ranches … he’s also talking to Missouri farmers about a low-interest loan program available to them if they’re in financial trouble because of the drought.
He says showing leadership and letting farmers and ranchers know that the state is standing with them is an important part of focusing on getting through it.
For more on the linked-deposit program, which can drop principal and interest rates, visit www.treasurer.mo.gov.
He promises a 24-hour response time on applications.
Zweifel says he visited Miller to see the Gleonda Angus Farm, where the impact of the drought on farmers and ranchers is clearly evident.
“I am committed to doing all I can to help make sure Missouri farmers and ranchers are able to make it through yet another difficult season,” Zweifel says.
He says the visit allowed him to see the short term impact of this year’s drought and how it will continue to impact farmers and ranchers in the years to come.
“I am working with lenders across the state to make sure they are aware of the emergency designation for all 114 counties and the low-interest capital the Missouri Linked Deposit Program can help provide the agriculture industry.”
Glenda and Leon Kleeman own Gleonda Angus Farm where they raise a registered Angus herd in Lawrence County. The Kleemans also raise row crops to help supplement the cattle costs and feed. This is the second summer their area has seen drought conditions. Zweifel says the Kleemans are among the many farmers and ranchers that could benefit from the Missouri Linked Deposit Program. As they prepare for the future, they are considering the program for their needs, he says.
“We do not want to decrease our herd but as the cost of feed and water continues to rise, we will have to consider different options to meet our operation’s future needs,” Glenda Kleeman said. “We tried to prepare for a situation like this as best we could, but no one could have predicted the drought would be this severe. I am glad Treasurer Zweifel and other government entities are working with farmers and ranchers to help see us all through this difficult situation.”
The emergency process is known as the Harmed-area Emergency Loan Priority system, or HELP. Individuals applying for agriculture loans are now eligible in every county of the state and the City of St. Louis. HELP eligible counties are determined by Zweifel using executive orders, disaster requests, State Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency information and Agricultural Disaster Designations and Declarations. Normal loan approval time is 10 days.