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Sheep Innovation Loan Examples

Sheep Dairy

This loan was established with a sheep dairy in upstate New York to purchase milking equipment. The dairy recently began its first full season of milk production. The main goals of the dairy are to be milking 250 ewes and producing over 75,000 pounds of Grade A milk in 2003. The sheep milk will be bagged and frozen in an on-site, walk-in, blast freezer, and then trucked to the Albany-area cheesemaker. Market lambs are sold locally to New York State consumers.

The domestic market for sheep-milk products is extremely strong, particularly in the Northeast. The dairy, which is operated by an individual with extensive experience as a shepherd and dairy farm worker, has contracted to sell its milk to a New York State cheesemaker. There has been considerable interest in the dairy among (cow) dairy farmers in the region, where many are looking for financially viable alternatives to traditional dairying. The success of this sheep dairy project will serve as a model for those looking for a profitable alternative to the marginally viable dairy farms of the region.

Lamb Processing/Fabricating Operation

This loan was established with a lamb processing/fabricating operation in Pennsylvania to expand its physical building and add equipment to increase its volume of high quality, branded lamb products sold to high-end restaurants.

The company purchases contracted lamb carcasses from a slaughter facility and processes them into a consistent product that is geared toward five-star eating establishments in areas such as New York, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and San Francisco. The facility owner's goal is to provide an added value product to consumers, which will in turn reward the farmers for producing a better, more consistent product.

The new building and processing equipment have allowed the company to triple its production quantity. The expansion has increased the company's ability to commit to processing a greater number of contracted lambs.

Scouring Train for a Wool Hat Company

This loan was used to purchase state-of-the-art wool scouring equipment and installation of such that allow a Texas hat company to replace 1940 vintage equipment. This acquisition allows them to keep the first stage of wool processing, scouring, competitive in this country, allowing the production of the best quality.

Loan funds were used to purchase equipment that adds value to the operation in several ways. First, the grease recovery plant allows the company to extract the lanolin and sell it, instead of disposing of it. Second, the equipment produces a far better product through better blending, better pre-scouring dirt and veg removal, and more even bowl temperatures and water flow, which will allow for better cleansing of the fiber. Heavier squeeze presses and a more precise moisture control systems on the dryer, allow for more even moisture content. All of these features are critical to compete with the rest of the world in today's challenging market place.

Modernized scouring equipment assures U.S. wool producers of having a domestic processor, thereby adding value to the marketability of their clips.

Wool Warehousing

The funding received by this wool warehousing and marketing facility was used to refinance existing financing and to establish a line of credit to be used in the normal operations in marketing wool of the producers using the services of this facility. The primary trade area served by this market includes Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and portions of North Dakota and Nebraska. They are the only remaining producer-driven warehouse left in this entire region.  The funding of this loan has had a far reaching influence on the financial stability and profitability of the regional sheep numbers for wool production. In addition to warehousing and marketing, this operation offers wool quality improvement, grading and core testing, storage, market information and export capability. Due to the lower interest rate acquired through this funding not only will their cash flow situation be improved but also the staying power to allow this group to remain in the wool business will be strengthened.

Genetics Program

This loan has helped an Arizona sheep breeder become a producer of superior genetics (sheep, embryos, artificial insemination, and semen) for sale to an international market. Karoo Genetics, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., was founded in 1995 for the purpose of bringing top quality meat sheep genetics to the North American sheep industry. The company's primary focus has been the importation and production of Dorper sheep. The loan with the Sheep & Goat Fund was established and has been used to further develop the ranch and to enhance the embryo program. Karoo Genetics has also donated Dorper rams to several universities including, Wyoming, Texas A & M and Chico, Calif., to be utilized in research crossbreeding programs designed to improve USA meat sheep carcass quality.

Goat Innovation Loan Examples

Goat Dairy Product Expansion

This funding was used by an LLC formed by a group of Grade A goat dairies in Michigan to purchase an existing facility to accommodate future growth and purchasing and installing equipment needed to allow for expansion of its product lines from high quality cheese and yogurt products to include butter and ice cream. The impact of this project on the goat industry in Michigan is evidenced by the expansion in the number of farms shipping their milk to this facility for processing and the ever-growing demand for the quality based, value-priced goat dairy products. They market through distributors and also market directly to select stores and chains. Their niche market are health conscious shoppers who are aware that they are choosing to support small-scale farms and upscale gourmet product buyers who choose to buy the best regardless of cost.

Lamb & Goat Feedlot

This loan was established with a goat and lamb feedlot in Tennessee. The Tennessee goat/sheep industry needed a facility such as this because some producers, for whatever reason, lack the ability to, or means to market the most desirable size. Lighter weight animals are purchased and carried to a more demanding weight.

The funds were used to build a large barn consisting of 30 inside pens with each pen having access to outside paddocks. In addition, large creep feeders, hay mangers and troughs were acquired.

The advantage of this facility is that the animals will be on hand when the demand is peak, which will maximize profits. One other advantage is the ability to purchase animals when supply is heavy and demand is low, thereby creating a more stable market for area producers.

Goat Association

A breed-specific goat association is working to take a leadership role in an effort to consolidate the Boer goat industry. They hope to bring together all of the Boer goat associations with the goal of forming a united front to build a strong industry with a successful and viable future. The funds received were used to finance their headquarters building and equip this association to effectively use their newly acquired state-of-the-art registry program. They also plan to incorporate additional programs of promotion, sales and services for members.

Sheep & Goat Marketing Center

This loan was established with a regional livestock market center in Tennessee. It consists of a 25,000 sq.ft. livestock auction facility situated on a 5 acre road frontage tract. The animals are offered to the buyers in graded co-mingled groups, which has proven to provide several dollars in added value to the sellers and a more uniform set of animals to the buyers.

The funds were used to consolidate out of pocket construction expenses into a long term mortgage, which will follow the best management practices for a solid business plan. The strong demand for market goats and lambs out of this center has encouraged producers in the region to grow and expand their productions.

Goat Dairy

Funds were used by an award-winning goat cheese business in California. After experiencing several years of remarkable growth this company decided to continue their growth and stake out the position of market leader in the fast expanding goat cheese market. This funding was used to decrease their dependence on foreign curd by letting them establish a dependable, expanded supply of local and regional goat milk and also, by increasing their capacity to make in-house curd. They plan to grow the market for goat cheese and increase their share of the expanding market and in addition raise the general awareness of goats and their products, especially cheese, by establishing an educational goat farm and creamery.

Upcoming events

The Sheep and Goat Innovation Fund is a revolving fund established within National Livestock Producers Association to assist the U.S. sheep and goat industries by strengthening and enhancing the production and marketing of sheep and goats and their products in the United States.
Take advantage of professional lending services tailored specifically for the sheep and goat industries. Competitive interest rates and flexibility to structure the financing that works for you will help your project be a success.

The Sheep & Goat Innovation Fund

13570 Meadowgrass Drive, Suite 201

Colorado Springs, CO 80921

Phone: 719-538-8843 Toll Free: 800-237-7193

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