A financial institution based in northeast Iowa is being recognized as the state’s top lender for using a loan program for livestock producers that targets maintaining Iowa’s water quality. Steve Ruzicka, president of Luana) Saving Bank, says the new type of loan is a big help for farmers — and for the environment.

Ruzicka says, “The program was enacted to provide encouragement for producers to utilize a low-interest loan through a bank for capital purchases such as equipment, facilities or improvements that were directly related to manure management.” He says the goal of the loan program is to reduce the risk of manure spills by allowing livestock producers to get the best equipment for their operations.

“The idea was that the new investment would be for updating worn out or needed assets to better the handling or containment of animal waste,” Ruzicka says. “The overall result, it was to lessen the chance of a contamination of our groundwater.” Luana Saving Bank has branches in Luana, New Hampton, Polk City and Ossian.

The bank will be recognized by the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at a meeting in Des Moines on September 5th.

By Chris Berg, KCHA, Charles City