The Alberta government is almost doubling its loan guarantee for cattle and sheep feeder associations in the province, following the record high cattle prices in 2014-15.
Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier announced Wednesday that the guarantee limit in the Feeder Association Loan Guarantee Program will be raised from $55 million to $100 million.
“The cattle and livestock industries are key drivers in Alberta’s rural economy, and feeder associations are vital to the success of the industry. This is the result of the productive discussions we have had with the industry,” said the minister. “We are listening and making thoughtful changes to support producers.”
There are 46 local feeder associations and 3,500 livestock producers who are members of their local cooperatives in Alberta. The Feeder Associations of Alberta board has been asking for an increase to the loan guarantee for several years.
“We’re ecstatic. It’s something we’ve been struggling with for years, trying to accommodate, especially with the higher cattle prices. It will give us a lot more flexibility and growth in the feeder associations locally,” said chair Eric Boot.
The Feeder Association Loan Guarantee Program started in 1936 — 80 years ago — and has guaranteed $9 billion in private financing for member producers to buy beef calves and sheep. The province says the program finances the purchase of 15 to 25 percent of available calves in a given year.
Sign up for RealAg’s free weekly cattle newsletter here.