17.115 SHARED SAVINGS LOAN PROGRAM.
Subdivision 1. Establishment.
The commissioner shall establish a shared savings loan
program to provide loans that enable farmers to adopt best management practices that emphasize
sufficiency and self-sufficiency in agricultural inputs, including energy efficiency, reduction or
improved management of inputs, increasing energy production by agricultural producers, and
Subd. 2. Loan criteria.
(a) The shared savings loan program must provide loans for purchase
of new or used machinery and installation of equipment for projects that make environmental
improvements or enhance farm profitability. Eligible loan uses do not include seed, fertilizer, or
(b) Loans may not exceed $25,000 per individual applying for a loan and may not exceed
$100,000 for loans to four or more individuals on joint projects. The loan repayment period may
be up to seven years as determined by project cost and energy savings. The interest rate on the
loans must not exceed six percent. For loans made from May 1, 2004, to June 30, 2007, the
interest rate must not exceed three percent.
(c) Loans may only be made to residents of this state engaged in farming.
Subd. 3. Awarding of loans.
(a) Applications for loans must be made to the commissioner
on forms prescribed by the commissioner.
(b) The applications must be reviewed, ranked, and recommended by a loan review
panel appointed by the commissioner. The loan review panel shall consist of two lenders with
agricultural experience, two resident farmers of the state using sustainable agriculture methods,
two resident farmers of the state using organic agriculture methods, a farm management specialist,
a representative from a postsecondary education institution, and a chair from the department.
(c) The loan review panel shall rank applications according to the following criteria:
(1) realize savings to the cost of agricultural production;
(2) reduce or make more efficient use of energy or inputs;
(3) increase overall farm profitability; and
(4) result in environmental benefits.
(d) A loan application must show that the loan can be repaid by the applicant.
(e) The commissioner must consider the recommendations of the loan review panel and
may make loans for eligible projects.
Subd. 4. Administration; information dissemination.
The amount in the revolving loan
account is appropriated to the commissioner to make loans under this section and administer
the loan program. The interest on the money in the revolving loan account and the interest on
loans repaid to the state may be spent by the commissioner for administrative expenses. The
commissioner shall collect and disseminate information relating to projects for which loans
are given under this section.
Subd. 5. Farm manure digester technology.
Appropriations in Laws 1998, chapter 401,
section 6, must be used for revolving loans for demonstration projects of farm manure digester
technology. Notwithstanding the limitations of subdivision 2, paragraphs (b) and (c), loans under
this subdivision are no-interest loans in principal amounts not to exceed $200,000 and may
be made to any resident of this state. Loans for one or more projects must be made only after
the commissioner seeks applications. Loans under this program may be used as a match for
federal loans or grants. Money repaid from loans must be returned to the revolving fund for
History: 1986 c 444; 1988 c 688 art 15 s 1; 1999 c 231 s 26; 1Sp2001 c 2 s 23; 2004 c 254 s 1