Cavan Credit Union launched their Farm Friendly Finance ‘Cultivate Farm Loans’ at Clarkes of Cavan on Monday afternoon. From left: Noelle Fitzpatrick, loans manager CCU; Jennifer Conaty, loans officer CCU; Mark Hayes, business development manager CCU; Therese Conway, CEO Cavan Credit Union, Caroline Brady, loans officer CCU; Helene McManus, President of the Irish league of Credit Unions and Rita McGahern, Chairperson of Cavan Credit Union. Photos: Lorraine Teevan

Cultivating interest in farm loans

Cavan Credit Union was delighted with the great turnout and level of interest at its recent launch of Cultivate Farm Loan initiative.

The event took place on Monday morning, October 11, at Clarkes of Cavan, at Moynehall Retail Park, Cavan, where Helene McManus, president of the Irish League of Credit Unions was the guest of honour.

Therese Conway, CEO of Cavan Credit Union, remarked: “It was great to see so many people from the farming community turn up to find out more about Cultivate Farm Loans. There was also plenty of interest in the machinery on display from the Clarke Machinery Group and M-Tec Engineering from Swanlinbar, so I can see some machinery loans being applied for.”

Ms Conway described it as "a lively event" with Northern Sound broadcasting live on the day and refreshments served, with some goodies taken away.

Mark Hayes, business development manager with Cavan Credit Union, was pleased with the turnout for the launch. “We had representatives from the farming and business communities in Cavan, including representatives from IFA, Macra na Feirme, Livestock Marts, Dairy Co-ops, Teagasc, Farm Relief Services, agribusiness, agricultural contractors, IFAC, accountancy practices, LEADER and LEO.

Mr Hayes said that Cultivate Farm Loans are being well received. "The general feeling was that the Cultivate Farm Loan product meets the real needs of the farming community in Cavan. We know that farmers want to be able to deal directly with a person, in person, not a remote call-centre of online form.

"They want to deal with the same person throughout the process, who is the decision maker, and ideally this is someone from their locality, with knowledge of farming. To this end we have an excellent dedicated Cultivate Loans manager in Noelle Fitzpatrick. Noelle is from Cavan and was reared on a farm in Cornafean and is currently completing her Green Cert in Ballyhaise.”

The team at Cavan Credit Union is "excited" about the new offering, which they feel is a "great fit" for both farmers and the credit union, "both of which value tradition and community", according to Mr Hayes.

Ms Fitzpatrick says there has already been a "steady stream" of enquiries from farmers about Cultivate loans.

Cultivate Farm Loans of up to €50,000 are specifically for farmers for terms of up to seven years. They are designed with a competitive interest rate, which Ms Fitzpatrick said “is obviously important due to the nature of cash flow on a farm and flexible repayment options are also a key factor and we will facilitate that.”

An interest rate of 6.55% (6.75% APR) applies on the loan for a variety of purposes including livestock purchase, farm development and buying farm machinery, with repayment schedules designed to suit farmer's cash flow.

Cultivate Farm Loans is now offered in 100 credit union offices around Ireland including Cavan Credit Union.

Contact Ms Fitzpatrick on 049-4331715, email or in the branch at 83 Main Street, Cavan.