Economic Development Authority has record year for ag loans

The Vermont Economic Development Authority approved 344 financings in fiscal year 2017, totaling nearly $199 million and for the second year running, surpassing its prior loans to farms.

Those results were presented at VEDA’s recent annual meeting in South Burlington.

“VEDA’s two biggest areas of growth in FY2017 were tax-exempt conduit bonds and agricultural loans,” said VEDA chief executive officer Jo Bradley.

In the year ending June 30, VEDA issued $128.4 million in tax-exempt bonds.

In addition, the authority made 135 loans totaling $26.5 million in its agricultural lending program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation – outpacing all prior years. Bradley noted that agricultural loans now comprise 40 percent of VEDA’s portfolio.

“The agricultural economy has become far more diversified, including not only dairy farms, but vegetable growers, cheese manufacturers, forest product businesses, and more. VEDA is so pleased to play a vital role in supporting growth in this important sector of Vermont’s economy,” Bradley said.

The 2017 breakdown of financings was: 34 percent in agricultural loans; 29 percent for commercial projects; 21 percent were tax-exempt bond projects; 16 percent were energy loans.

VEDA is Vermont’s nonprofit economic development finance lender. VEDA’s FY 2017 Annual Report is available at veda.org.

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