Courtesy of the BC Government:
The B.C government will increase the maximum guarantee limit to $15 million for two popular loan guarantee programs for the B.C. ranching industry, Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes announced today on behalf of Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick.
The loan guarantee programs have been so successful that several regional co-operative associations have reached their current maximum loan limits. The increase, from $9.75 million, will allow industry to finance additional cattle purchases to build inventories with the goal of benefiting from the current strong North America cattle prices. It is anticipated the increase will also support the expansion of planned co-operative associations for Vancouver Island and the Kootenays.
The Bred Heifer Association Loan Guarantee and Feeder Association Loan Guarantee programs support 12 regional producer-owned co-operative associations located throughout B.C. The program, now in its 26th year, strengthens the B.C. livestock sector by helping the local associations negotiate favourable loans for the purchase of feeder and breeder cattle on behalf of their members.
The B.C. ranching sector provides safe, high-quality beef and is a major contributor to the province’s economy and food supply security. In 2014, B.C. beef producers marketed more than 191,000 cattle and calves amounting to over 91,000 metric tonnes, an increase of about 5% over the previous year.
The Thompson-Okanagan, Cariboo, Peace River and Nechako regions are the top beef producing regions in the province. While building a sustainable beef industry, the sector is also recognized for best practices in animal welfare.
The Hon. Coralee Oakes - MLA for Cariboo-North said:
“The B.C. government’s agrifood and seafood strategic growth plan has three key priorities of building markets, increasing production, and driving competitiveness and the loan guarantee increase we are announcing today will help the B.C. ranching sector do just that. We will continue to support industry and the vital role they provide to our province’s food supply security and economy.”
While BC Breeder and Feeder Association president Ken Fawcett stated:
“We commend the B.C. government for recognizing the contribution the beef industry brings to the Province of British Columbia. Our regional co-ops are member owned and operated bringing a successful beef cattle finance program to all areas of B.C. under the government loan guarantee program. With the increase we can now continue with the forming of a new co-op on Vancouver Island to finance feeder and bred cattle to enhance the island beef industry.”
In 2014, the B.C. beef industry generated more than $279 million in farm cash receipts an increase of nearly 54% from the previous year.
The breeder co-operative associations are located in: Cariboo, Fraser Nechako, Lakes, North Peace and South Peace.
The feeder co-operative associations are located in: Cariboo-Chilcotin, Central Interior, Lakes, North Peace, Okanagan, Quesnel, South Peace.
BC Breeder and Feeder Association: http://bcbfa.ca/