State-Owned Bank of North Dakota Authorized to Provide Needed Relief to Farmers Affected by Extreme 2019 Weather Conditions

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has authorized the Bank of North Dakota (BND) to start a loan program to help the state’s farmers cover operating shortfalls and term debt payments, and to restructure existing debt. The Ag Disaster Relief Loan Program will, “address the needs of farmers and ranchers negatively affected by extreme weather conditions in 2019.” These are the types of programs that make sense for a state-owned bank.

The President and CEO of the Bank of North Dakota joined me on my radio show, “Afternoons Live” to talk about the details of the newly authorized program. Eric Hardmeyer explains how the program came to be, how producers can apply, and where the deadlines are currently set. You can hear those details below.

LISTEN TO PRESIDENT OF THE BANK OF NORTH DAKOTA EXPLAIN THE
AG DISASTER RELIEF LOAN PROGRAM

Farmers will have until June 30th, 2020 to apply for this program. As President Hardmeyer stated on KFGO, the Bank currently has $300 million to aid farmers impacted by the unusual weather during the 2019 harvest. If you’re a farmer impacted, it is wise to reach out.

I applaud the work of the BND for getting this put together. The same goes for the Industrial Commission. Governor Doug Burgum, Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring, and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem were right to authorize the loan program. The $300 million can go a long way for North Dakota’s ag producers.

Now to briefly point out what appears to be a bit of hypocrisy from North Dakota’s politicians. We’re fortunate in North Dakota to have the BND as a resource. 2019 marked the 100th year of the BND’s existence. That anniversary was celebrated with a resolution passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Republican Governor Doug Burgum who is the head of the state-owned bank. Their embrace of our state-owned bank ironically came at the same time they declared “socialism has no place in North Dakota!” Granted there are wild variations of that term and ideology – the extreme being utterly unacceptable – but isn’t there a little lack of self-awareness here?

Bottom line: the Ag Disaster Relief Loan Program is an appropriate move for the BND. Our family farmers have been impacted by a variety of conditions over the last few years. Some of those conditions are beyond their control like the unusual weather this harvest season. $300 million to help bridge the gap is something we can all get behind. Learn more about the program here.

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