State Treasurer Eric Schmitt has announced his Missouri FIRST initiative has increased agriculture investments through the state’s linked deposit program by 136%. Since the launch of Missouri FIRST in March, the total volume of active agriculture linked deposits has risen from $29.3 million to $69.3 million. Schmitt will visit the State Fair in Sedalia today to talk about the success of the initiative.
“The Missouri FIRST initiative has enabled us to better prioritize rural economic development and the agriculture industry,” Schmitt said. “Economic growth, less red tape and increased accessibility have led to a stronger linked deposit program with greater investment in Main Street and rural Missouri.”
Schmitt’s Missouri FIRST (Financing Investment in our Rural, Small Business, and Technology communities) initiative revamped the state’s linked deposit program, which partners with local lenders to provide low-interest financing to small businesses and agricultural operations. The program helps farmers by making production, land acquisition, livestock costs and other ventures more affordable.
“Missouri FIRST is making a tremendous impact on the ability of Missouri farmers to secure affordable financing and expand their operations,” said Blake Hurst, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau. “Missouri Farm Bureau is pleased to see increased investment in our state’s agriculture community and we applaud Treasurer Schmitt and his team for their efforts.”
Treasurer Schmitt launched Missouri FIRST after a year of meeting with small business owners, farmers and community banks about what could be done to improve the linked deposit program. The changes implemented through Missouri FIRST focused on cutting red tape, expanding access and modernizing the application system.