☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XXIII CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS

Chapter 348

< > Effective - 02 Jan 2023, see footnote bottom

  348.491.  Citation of law — definitions — program established, eligibility, requirements — rules — sunset provision. — 1.  This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Specialty Agricultural Crops Act".

  2.  As used in this section, the following terms mean:

  (1)  "Authority", the Missouri agricultural and small business development authority created in section 348.020;

  (2)  "Family farmer", a farmer who is a Missouri resident and who has less than one hundred thousand dollars in agricultural sales per year;

  (3)  "Lender", the same definition as in section 348.015;

  (4)  "Specialty crop", fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops including, but not limited to, floriculture.  Specialty crop shall not include medical marijuana or industrial hemp.

  3.  The authority shall establish a specialty agricultural crops loan program for family farmers for the purchase of specialty crop seeds, seedlings, or trees; soil amendments including compost; irrigation equipment; fencing; row covers; trellising; season extension equipment; refrigeration equipment; and equipment for planting and harvesting.

  4.  To participate in the loan program, a family farmer shall first obtain approval for a specialty agricultural crops loan from a lender.  Each family farmer shall be eligible for only one specialty agricultural crops loan per family.

  5.  The maximum amount of the specialty agricultural crops loan for specialty crop producers shall be thirty-five thousand dollars.

  6.  Eligible borrowers under the program:

  (1)  Shall use the proceeds of the specialty agricultural crops loan to acquire the farming resources described in subsection 3 of this section;

  (2)  Shall not finance more than ninety percent of the anticipated cost of the purchase of such farming resources through the specialty agricultural crops loan; and

  (3)  Shall not be charged interest by the lender for the first year of the qualified specialty agricultural crops loan.

  7.  Upon approval of the specialty agricultural crops loan by a lender under subsection 4 of this section, the loan shall be submitted for approval by the authority.  The authority shall promulgate rules establishing eligibility under this section, taking into consideration:

  (1)  The eligible borrower's ability to repay the specialty agricultural crops loan;

  (2)  The general economic conditions of the area in which the farm is located;

  (3)  The prospect of a financial return for the family farmer for the type of farming resource for which the specialty agricultural crops loan is sought; and

  (4)  Such other factors as the authority may establish.

  8.  For eligible borrowers participating in the program, the authority shall be responsible for reviewing the purchase price of any farming resources to be purchased by an eligible borrower under the program to determine whether the price to be paid is appropriate for the type of farming resources purchased.  The authority may impose a one-time loan review fee of one percent, which shall be collected by the lender at the time of the loan and paid to the authority.

  9.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a family farmer from participating in any other agricultural program.

  10.  Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028.  This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after January 2, 2023, shall be invalid and void.

  11.  Under section 23.253 of the Missouri sunset act:

  (1)  The provisions of the new program authorized under this section shall automatically sunset on December 31, 2028, unless reauthorized by an act of the general assembly; and

  (2)  If such program is reauthorized, the program authorized under this section shall automatically sunset twelve years after the effective date of the reauthorization of this section; and

  (3)  This section shall terminate on September first of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the program authorized under this section is sunset.

­­--------

(L. 2022 1st Ex. Sess. H.B. 3)

Effective 1-02-23

Sunset date 12-31-28

Termination date 9-01-29


---- end of effective  02 Jan 2023 ----

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