COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As you’re seeing prices increase due to inflation, so are small business owners like farmers. The agricultural industry is dealing with as much as 300% increases in farming supplies and equipment.

With the ag-LINK program, taking out loans to keep up with production becomes less of a burden.

“Skyrocketing seed costs, fertilizer costs over the last year and we now see inflation is at 9.1%, a thirty year high for the United States of America,” Treasurer Robert Sprague said.

The ag-LINK program has helped reduce interest on two hundred and thirteen loans in central Ohio alone since the start of the year. Right now, the interest rate reduction is about half a percent.

“As the interest rate environment continues to rise, we can increase that reduction in their loan up to three percent,” Sprague said.

Across the state, total savings for borrowers is more than $1.4 million. Senior Director of State and National Policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau, Brandon Kern, says even as grocery prices increase by 10%, most times, it’s not trickling down to farmers.

“It’s the whole middle process of logistics and supply chain, processing costs,” Kern said.

Kern said the industry expects produce prices to decrease over the year, worrying some farmers. He said supporting the industry is important for Ohio’s economy.

“One out of every eight jobs in our state are tied to either growing food or getting that food from the farm to the consumer,” Kern said.

If you are a farm operator or in agribusiness and interesting in signing up, you must:

  • Be organized for profit
  • Have headquarters and 51% of operations maintained in Ohio
  • Use the loan exclusively for agricultural purposes
  • Agree to comply with all program and financial institution regulations

You can find the application and eligible financial institutions here. Call 614-466-6546 or email economicdevelopment@tos.ohio.gov. for more information.