Schafer Clarifies Rural Business Loan Guarantee

Secretary met with livestock industry on Monday to discuss concerns.

Last week several livestock and feed groups sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer about ethanol producers participating in the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program. In the letter they charged that ethanol producers were getting preferential treatment. Schafer met with the groups Monday to discuss their concerns.

"We walked through the B and I loan guarantee loan program, which has been by their memberships, and assured them that this is a long-standing program that we would use to help finance businesses in rural America, some of which may be ethanol plants," Schafer says. "We assured them that no specific money was being set aside only for the ethanol industry and there is no particular line-up; it's first in the door, first served."

The Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program was established in 1974.

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