Stimulus Helps Keep Panhandle Farms in Business

More than nine million dollars is spent today to save farms from collapse.

The agriculture industry in Texas is in trouble.

Rising input costs matched with lowering commodity prices equals a lack of money for many farmers and ranchers.

But now temporary relief has come.

This morning the agency had nine point eight million dollars in backlogged loans.

This afternoon they have a 240 thousand dollar surplus, after getting Federal stimulus money.

Officials with the USDA say this money came at a vital time to help the industry.

"These are loans made to farmers who for one reason or another cannot have their credit needs met by conventional lenders. If these farmers don't obtain these loans, basically they're unable to operate," said Eddie Travino, the Cheif-Farm Loan Officer with the Texas Farm Service Agency.

The stimulus money is given out through the direct operating farm loan program, which helps pay for equipment, feed, seed, fuel and much more.

It's estimated one dollar spent in the agriculture community is re-spent seven times over.

So now it's expected this stimulus will flow from the farms into small towns which also need the stimulus.