The division is responsible for several loan programs to help the agriculture community and others achieve various worthwhile goals for productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits for the people of Utah. At present the division has portfolios with total assets of more than $36 million. The quality of the portfolios is very high with low delinquencies and a history of minimal losses. The division cooperates with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in managing one loan program and is in process of setting up another program with that agency. Cooperation with other departments of government provides for greater efficiency with minimized duplication of effort and provides the taxpayers with more efficiency in government. The existing programs are:
- Agriculture Resource and Development Loan (ARDL) Program: The program is managed by the division for the Utah Conservation Commission in cooperation with the local conservation districts throughout the State. The purpose of the loans is to finance improvements for landowners to provide for greater efficiencies in agriculture operations, range improvements, water and soil conservation, disaster assistance and environmental quality. The loans are written for a maximum of fifteen-year terms at tiered interest rate levels and may carry an administration fee that goes directly to support local conservation efforts across the state. The program is a revolving fund. The Emergency Disaster Relief Loan (EDRL) Program is currently administered within the ARDL Program.
- Rural Rehabilitation Loan Programs.: These programs, funded by both State and Federal monies. The purpose of the loans is variously to help financially troubled producers to stay in business, to assist beginning farmers in obtaining farm property and to provide financing for transfer of agriculture properties from one generation to another. They are essentially loans of last resort requiring that applicants be declined by conventional commercial lenders. Terms range up to a maximum of ten years, and interest rates are three percent or less.
- Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Loans: This program is managed for DEQ to provide financing for property owners who have underground storage tanks that require removal, replacement or remediation. Loans are made for up to $100,000 per tank up to $300,000 loan cap per facility for a maximum ten-year term at zero percent interest.
The division cooperates with DEQ’s Division of Water Quality to finance projects for eliminating or reducing non-point source water pollution on private lands.