Proposed bill to help farmers that ‘have the desire and willingness to work hard’

Posted at 5:15 AM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 05:16:02-04

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. — Small farmers in West Michigan looking for a loan could catch a huge break with a new bill supported by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters.

“It takes money to start this operation up ,and a new farmer needs some additional help to make that happen,” Sen. Peters said. “If you create those financial opportunities for young farmers, we’re going to create more jobs, we’re going to create more farms, you’re going to have a resurgence of agriculture with folks who know that they have resources as long as they have the desire and the willingness to work hard.”

The bill would expand a government program that provides loans to farmers who don’t qualify for help from private banks.

More than 2,000 farms in Michigan currently use the service of loans.

The program, however, is struggling to fund the loans already approved by the Department of Agriculture.

If passed, the new legislation would allow the department to raise the cap on the amount of loan funding available and pull money from another program to pay for it.

Sen.r Peters said that this bill would impact small farms because without the funding farmers could lose the ability to purchase needed equipment, fund their overall operations or event the ability to purchase land.

“Americans should be able to pursue their American dream whatever it is,” Sen. Peters said. “We want to be able to give them the tools to do that.”