Governor Tim Walz has signed into law the Disaster Recovery Loan Program meant to help farmers and other agricultural workers who have been harmed during this unusually harsh winter.

St. Peter DFL State Representative Jeff Brand said, “We know that many farmers across the state are getting by but they don’t have barns, they don’t have shelter for their cattle so this will address that and give them the resources to rebuild after the tremendous amount of snow that we received.”

There were several roof collapses at dairy and hog barns in February after a record amount of snow fell during the month and Brand says the situation added to an already tough time for producers. “This compounds on everything happening in farm country right now so I’m happy to see a rapid response by both the House and the Senate.”

Democrat Minnesota State Representative Jeff Brand of St. Peter.

Until this legislation was approved, farmers were only able to access recovery loans when a disaster was declared by the state or federal government.

The bill broadens eligibility for the Disaster Loan Recovery Program run by the state’s Rural Finance Authority. It adds uninsured losses from the weight of snow, sleet or ice to the list of damages covered by the program. It would be retroactive to Jan. 1.