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      State of Illinois offers drought relief to farmers

      The Illinois Finance Authority wants farmers in the state to know that there is help available.

      In July, Governor Quinn activated drought relief task force for the first time in a couple of decades.

      The director of the agency is traveling around the state talking to bankers and farmers about Illinois based programs that can help farmers deal with the anticipated financial loss from the drought.

      The Illinois Finance Authority has several loan guarantee programs that farmers can take advantage of to get some much needed financial relief.

      Illinois Finance Authority Executive Director Christopher Meister says, " The Illinois Finance Authority works with agricultural lenders, Illinois banks to guarantee part of the loan. To make it more likely that a loan would be made to an Illinois farmer when otherwise, perhaps they would not be made. And possibly made at a lower interest rate."

      The agency especially wants to find out from bankers if any changes needed in those programs to make them better suited for farmer's needs.

      Meister says, " Are these the right tools for what we are likely to be facing in the coming months? These programs were created a couple of decades ago. Maybe they need updating, maybe they need tweaking. And we want to make sure that Illinois bankers have an open door."

      Christopher Meister says that these agriculture loan guarantees are Illinois programs and tools which means that they have more flexibility compared to national programs.

      To find out more just log onto the Illinois Finance Authority website: