Many Iowa livestock producers are now eligible for lower-interest loansof up to 100-thousand dollars per farmer under a new state program. The”Linked Investment for Tomorrow” or “LIFT” program is managed by StateTreasurer Mike Fitzgerald.Fitzgerald says today, the loans should be available at six-percentinterest. Up to 20-million dollars worth of loans are available to farmerswho raise hogs, cattle or dairy cows.Fitzgerald says there are guidelines which restrict the loans to small andmedium-sized “family farm” livestock operations.A contingent of republican and democrat legislators are in Washington today,where they met with the U-S Ag Secretary for 90 minutes. The group meetswith other officials, including some Congressional leaders, today andtomorrow. Governor Tom Vilsack says policmakers in Washington are finallylistening to the plight of farmers.However, Vilsack says the time for talk is over. He says it’s time foraction — before Congress adjourns in August.Starting August 9th, Iowa hog producers can register to receive a cut of the100-million dollars the federal government is providing as emergency helpthrough the current price trough. Bruce Cordess (core’-duss) of theU-S-D-A’s Farm Service agency calls it the “SHOP” program which stands for”Small Hog Operation Payment.”Farmers may receive up to 10-dollars for each slaughtered hog — with afive-thousand dollars maximum payout to an individual farmer.Cordess says the sign-up period will end September 24. Hog producers whoapplied for and received a previous per head payment from the federalgovernment need not re-apply. Governor Tom Vilsack calls the five-thousanddollars per farmer a mere “downpayment” from the federal government.
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