The following is good news for sheep producers needing funds to expand their flocks. It is a repost from ASI's Weekly News.
"A new opportunity for sheep producers looking to expand their flocks is now available through the National Livestock Producers Association's (NLPA) Sheep and Goat Fund Committee. 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). This new loan program is the result of a joint effort between NLPA and the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) in the spirit of ASI's Let's Grow initiative.
"One of the hurdles that new and current sheep producers encounter when looking to purchase breeding stock is adequate financing options," explained Scott Stuart, NLPA president. "To address this problem, 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."
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.
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.
"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," said Peter Orwick, ASI executive director.
More information about the program, including the application and an informative slideshow presentation, is available be at www.SheepandGoatFund.com or by contacting Scharee Atchison at 800-237-7193, ext. 10 or email at NLPA@NLPA.org."