Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho to expand the eligibility of dairy farmers and qualifying farming operations for small business loans was recently signed into law.
“As the Garden State, we should do all we can to help keep the farmer on the farm,” said Oroho (R- Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Expanding access to small business loans will help family farmers in need of financial assistance to purchase new farm equipment, while helping to reinvigorate our state’s agricultural industry. This program will be an important tool that farmers that can use to grow their business operations.”
Oroho’s bill now expands the eligibility of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) small business loan program to specifically include certain farming operations and qualified dairy farmers. It will permit farmers to pool their resources to purchase farm equipment of any kind used in the production of their businesses, providing an additional source of capital by combining their resources to purchase expensive equipment.
The EDA is able to provide more favorable terms than the more traditional lenders.
Under the law, an “eligible farming operation” is two or more independent business entities that are engaged in farming operations in New Jersey, that are applying together for participation in the loan program. A “qualified dairy farmer” produces value-added dairy products, such as cheese, cultured sour cream, yogurt, kefir, butter, ice cream, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and concentrated milk.
The New Jersey Farm Bureau was a big proponent of the new law. The Assembly version was sponsored by Assemblyman Hal Wirths.