Ontario beef producers looking to use the Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program will notice some changes the next time they apply.
Changes announced include:
- Reduced need for credit checks within the program
- Steps to streamline the transfer of ownership of livestock once a loan is paid off
The Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program supports feeder cattle producers by offering short-term loans at below-market rates – based on the strength of a 25 per cent loan guarantee by the provincial government.
The changes will reduce “unnecessary and costly” credit checks in the program to save co-ops time and money. The revisions should fix “long-standing issues” with the program, the province says.
There have been no claims against the government’s loan guarantee program in its 28-year history.
Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, announced the changes at the Beef Farmers of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting held earlier this week.
In addition, as part of the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, the government has proposed changes to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act that, if passed, would allow future program changes to be made faster.
There are an estimated 19,000 beef farmers in Ontario.