Agency RSS

Bridging the Gap – Dept. of Ag Program Takes Off




For Immediate Release: November 6, 2013
Media Contact: Terri LaBrie, (605)773-4026


Bridging the Gap – Dept. of Ag Program Takes Off


PIERRE, S.D.- The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s (SDDA) Bridge Loan program is available for U.S. Department of Agriculture approved borrowers.


The Bridge Loan program began in July and has already approved almost $1 million in funding requests.


The Bridge Loan program is available to Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved borrowers when funding is not available at the time the borrowers get ready to buy land. The loan is structured for monthly interest only payments until the funding is available at FSA.


If, for any reason, FSA does not fund the loan, SDDA will term the loan out over 10 years. The current interest rate for SDDA’s loan is four percent and borrowers are required to pay all closing fees.


“The bridge loan program worked very well with one of my customers”, says Ben Johnson, ag loan officer at Home Federal Bank in Hartford. “Once borrowers are approved for financing and decide to pursue the bridge loan, they just need to release their information from FSA to SDDA and they handle everything; it’s a great program.”


The Bridge Loan follows FSA eligibility criteria and maximum dollar amounts of loans. The loan must meet the FSA conditions to be re-financed by FSA.


“The Bridge Loan program is meant to be temporary financing at reasonable rates to help approved FSA borrowers continue toward farm ownership without having to wait on the federal government for funding,” says LaBrie. “It’s a great program with minimal paperwork that has already benefited numerous borrowers.”


“I would encourage anyone that has already been approved at FSA and is waiting on funding to contact SDDA – they can help,” says Johnson.


In addition to the Bridge Loan program, SDDA has financing available for beginning farmers, livestock purchases, facility expansion projects, value added business financing and new business feasibility studies.


For additional information and details on the Bridge Loan program or any of the financial programs offered through SDDA, contact Terri LaBrie, Finance Administrator at 605-773-5436 or https://sdda.sd.gov.  


Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating over $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 122,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SDAgDept and Twitter @SDAgriculture.