Loans for Flock Expansion Available
(Aug. 1, 2013) Sheep producers looking to expand their flocks now have a new financing tool to assist them.
“A major hindrance for producers looking to expand their flock is financing,” says Clint Krebs, American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) president, announcing that in the spirit of the association’s Let’s Grow initiative, ASI teamed up with the National Livestock Producers Association’s (NLPA) Sheep and Goat Fund Committee to find a solution.
The Sheep and Goat Fund was established to assist the U.S. sheep and goat industries by strengthening and enhancing the production of marketing of sheep and goats and their products. The purpose of the fund has been to assist in financing projects beyond the farm gate; however, this is the first time the fund has had the ability to make term loans to sheep producers for the purpose of flock expansion.
Up to $2 million of the Sheep and Goat Fund has been identified for qualified applicants to be used specifically for the purchase of breeding animals (ewes and rams).
“Leaders of the Sheep and Goat Fund Committee, in concert with ASI, developed a specific loan program to help provide credit for flock expansion. We are excited to assist ASI in its Let’s Grow initiative by providing a valuable opportunity for producers looking to expand their flocks,” explains Scott Stuart, NLPA president.
“We encourage all new and current sheep producers, especially those with a proven mentor relationship with an established producer or those looking for assistance involving a transition between generations of sheep producers, to consider this program as a means to increase their flocks,” says Mike Corn, ASI’s secretary/treasurer and chair of the Re-build the Sheep Industry Committee. “This is a welcomed tool to assist the industry in maintaining sheep numbers and we encourage folks to look at this as a viable option to aid in their production goals.”
ASI will be working with NLPA in identifying potential loan applicants and provide the necessary educational resources to borrowers to help them become successful producers.
A few of the conditions of the lending program include:
- a minimum loan amount of $35,000 with the maximum loan amount based on credit worthiness of the borrower;
- a five-year maturity date;
- proceeds may only be used for the purchase of breeding animals and may not be used for other operating expenses; and
- prospective borrowers must demonstrate their ability to successfully produce sheep in a production setting, which may include the establishment of a mentor relationship, participation in educational programming for sheep and financial management and the development of a marketing plan for the enterprise.