Over two-hundred Iowa livestock producers may be helped by a new stateprogram which offers loans at lower interest rates. Governor Vilsack signedthe 20-million dollar measure into law today. Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judgehad argued for more money.No loan may be larger than 100-thousand dollars and the state investment isused to “buy down” the interest rates on those loans by two percentagepoints. Another new state law bars confidential contracts between farmers andmeatpackers. Governor Vilsack signed that bill into law this morning.The bill also ensures that livestock under contract is owned by the farmer,even if the buyer enters bankruptcy proceedings. Iowa Attorney General TomMiller says that’s a valuable protection for farmers.Late last month, Vilsack signed into law a bill which requires publicreporting of the prices paid to farmers who raise livestock under privatecontract with a meatpacker.
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