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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill into expanding WHEDA's authority to provide guarantees on agricultural production assistance loans. Under Senate Bill 549 (SB 549) WHEDA's drought relief loan guarantee will now expand to also include loan guarantees for extraordinary farming costs related to any act of nature for which the governor declares a disaster.

'This new law will provide our valued farmers access to financial resources in a disaster, allowing them to recoup losses and continue their hard work that supports one of the most critical industries in the state,' said WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston. 'I extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Gov. Walker and all members of the Wisconsin Legislature for their support and approval to expand our agricultural loan guarantee program.'

SB 549 not only expands WHEDA's loan guarantee authority for agricultural production assistance loans beyond drought situations, the bill also increases the maximum loan guarantee amount from $15,000 to $25,000. This updated legislation gives Wisconsin farmers a much needed boost in accessing agricultural financing when they need it most — during a natural disaster.

WHEDA has offered agricultural loan guarantees since 1985. Since its inception, the program has provided over $435 million in loan guarantees to help Wisconsin farmers plant, fertilize and harvest their crops. WHEDA agricultural loan guarantees reduce financial risk and exposure to lenders while ensuring that farmers have access to low-cost capital.

WHEDA was created in 1972 by the Wisconsin Legislature to provide low-cost financing for housing, small business and agricultural development. Since 1972, WHEDA has financed more than 77,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 120,000 families purchase their first homes and made more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees.

For more information, visit wheda.com or call 1-800-334-6873.

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