Colorado dairy farmers and rural business operators met with U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack at a town hall on Monday, where many voiced concerns over the demise of the New Frontier Bank.
The farmers said the April 10 closure of the bank, a major agricultural lender in northern Colorado, has severed credit lines for farmers, according to the Denver Post.
Vilsack said the USDA would make $250 million available in federal loans nationally to help struggling farmers.
Farmers rely on loans for bigger purchases like agriculture equipment.
Vilsack said banks are still hesitant to provide agricultural loans. "They've got to get back in the game," he said.
Gary Teague, a 42-year-old rancher, wept as he told Vilsack that thousands of farmers and ranchers are desperate and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has given him just 30 days to find another bank to take his loan, the Post reported.
Teague said he runs a $50 million business that employs 155 people. "I don't need a bailout. What I do need is a bank," he said.
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