Province offering loan support to family farms and small feedlots

Above: Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier with Eric Boot, Feeder Associations of Alberta Provincial Board Chair and Kerry Fahlman, Chairman of South Eastern Livestock Feeder Ltd. discussing the increase to the Feeder Association Loan Guarantee program on a farm near Medicine Hat.

by Morinville News Staff

The province announced Wednesday it is increasing the provincial loan guarantee to $100 million from $55 million for cattle and sheep producers buying and feeding livestock for market.

The Feeder Association Loan Guarantee Program began in 1936 and has guaranteed $9 billion in private financing to livestock feeders since that time. The province says there are 46 local feeder associations and 3,500 livestock producers who are members of their local feeder associations in Alberta.

The Feeder Association Loan Guarantee Program supports local, producer-run co-operatives in obtaining competitive financing. Government provides an overall loan guarantee.

Feeder association members use the guarantee to secure capital from lending institutions to buy beef calves and sheep to be fed for a number of months before being sold at market.

“The cattle and livestock industries are key drivers in Alberta’s rural economy, and feeder associations are vital to the success of the industry,” said Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in a release Sept. 14. “This is the result of the productive discussions we have had with the industry. We are listening and making thoughtful changes to support producers.”

Eric Boot, Feeder Associations of Alberta Provincial Board Chair, was also pleased with the announcement, stating the decision adds to the sustainability of the industry.

“The increase in the loan guarantee will help secure the sustainability of the livestock feeding sector in Alberta, resulting in improved access to feeder cattle financing for all of our existing members, future new members, and young farmers,” he said. “Thanks to this change, the future of Alberta Feeder Associations will be greatly improved.”

The province says the larger loan guarantee is needed to reflect current cattle prices and greater demand for feeder cattle and to ensure that eligible producers have access to the program.

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