The Missouri Dairy Association yesterday announced it is seeking assistance for drought-stricken dairy farms in the state, specifically in the Ozarks. The same day, the Missouri Department of Agriculture expanded a loan program to qualifying state agribusinesses.
“We’ve been hit harder in southwest Missouri than some people can ever remember,” said Larry Purdom, MDA president and a dairy farmer from Purdy, in a news release.
“Our crops and pastures are burned up. We are operating on real short feed, and we are concerned about it now being September with no rainfall," Purdom added. "No rain now impacts our growing small grain for pasture and hay for next spring. The feed situation is as bad as I’ve seen it in my 50 years of dairy farming."
In recent weeks, MDA directors have met with state government officials, and Purdom is planning a Washington, D.C., trip next week to address the need.
In separate news, the Missouri Department of Agriculture yesterday announced its expansion of the Missouri Value-Added Loan Guarantee Program to offer loan guarantees to state agribusinesses, such as feed and agricultural supply stores, veterinary clinics, food processors and equipment manufacturers. The expanded program went live Aug. 28.
“This is an important change for our producers and agribusinesses as they look for ways to add value to Missouri’s agricultural commodities and expand opportunities for their operations,” Director of Agriculture Jon Hagler said in a news release. “This program provides a guarantee for Missouri’s farmers and agribusiness owners as they seek loans from commercial lenders, paving the way for them to grow their farms and farm-oriented operations.”
The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority, which manages the loan program, may provide a 50 percent first-loss guarantee on loans of up to $250,000 from commercial lenders. To qualify, a business' primary customers must be producers of agricultural goods and products or provide goods and services in agricultural production, the release said.
The release added that businesses that qualify for the Missouri Value-Added Loan Guarantee Program also may be eligible for a loan from the Missouri Linked Deposit Program.[[In-content Ad]]