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N.S. beef producers get interest assistance on loans

Beef producers in Nova Scotia can now get assistance from the province to help pay down interest on their short-term loans from 2009, 2010 and/or 2011.

The provincial government on Monday described its new program as “a starting point” to reposition the province’s beef industry through investment in “profitable and sustainable” plans.

“Producers will have the flexibility to focus on parts of the industry that strengthens partnerships, alliances and collaborations,” the province said in a release. “Individuals will also have opportunity to invest in their needs.”

The Nova Scotia Beef Interest Pay-Down Program, budgeted for $2 million, has a deadline of March 31, 2010 for producers to submit their applications for the 2009 loan year. The deadline for claim forms for 2010 and 2011 will be March 31, 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Under the terms of the program, the loan in question must support the production of beef by an “active” beef producer who’s been farming at least six months.

Applicants must be from Nova Scotia-registered farms and must currently be paying levies to the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers.

One submission per individual will be accepted per financial institution, the province said.

The program is to be delivered through the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.

“This program will address some of the current challenges facing beef producers, helping them move forward in their efforts to build a sustainable sector in Nova Scotia,” Agriculture Minister John MacDonell said in the province’s release.

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