Ulster Bank has today officially announced a range of farm packages offerings aimed at supporting the growth ambitions of farmers in the dairy and beef sectors as well as a young farmers start-up package designed with  farmers under-40 years in mind.

Ulster Bank says the new offerings come with the support of  a nationwide team of 21 agri-specialists who will undertake a new bespoke, advanced agri-training programme during 2013 and 2014.

The young farmers start-up package announced today was motivated by recent research into the agricultural sector which has has found that 67 per cent of young Irish farmers expect to succeed to their family farm between the ages of 25 – 35. Ulster bank say their new package is designed to encourage and facilitate young farmers in their ambitions.

According to Ulster Bank, the package includes access to an unsecured loan up to €30,000 and a range of options in terms of fees and accounts. Applicants must be aged under 40 years, hold an agricultural qualification and have a prepared business plan.

The bank has also today announced a Dairy Expansion Loan specially designed to ensure farmers are ready to make the most of the post milk quota era. This product is available to both new and existing farmers who are planning to start or expand their dairy business.

Also on offer is a Beef Stocking Loan to help farmers expand in the areas of cattle rearing and finishing. A repayment schedule to match the farmer’s cattle sales is available.

Commenting on the new offerings, Dr Ailish Byrne, senior agricultural manager with Ulster Bank, said: ‘The imminent abolition of milk quota provides dairy farmers with tremendous opportunities for growth and expansion. Ireland has a competitive natural advantage in milk production within the global market and 2015 represents the first time in 30 years that farmers can exploit this advantage. This continued increase in the national dairy cow population also brings the opportunity for further growth in beef production.”

She continued: ‘Therefore at Ulster Bank we are delighted to be introducing a new agri proposition that will provide real support to the farming and agricultural sector allowing this important industry focus on essential future planning and growth ambitions which are outlined in Food Harvest 2020. We are confident that our agri proposition will help to support local farmers and agri-food businesses to drive a sector crucial to our economic recovery.’

Ulster Bank will also be hosting a number of seminars, located around the country, dedicated to financial management for young farmers. These seminars are free to attend and are being run to help young farmers develop their financial skills and confidence when dealing with the bank and to explore the opportunities from the Common Agricultural Policy Reform and Food Harvest 2020. Ultimately it says helping farmers to start up and succeed in a farm business.

For further information on the Ulster Bank young farmer package, the new product offerings for dairy, beef and poultry and the dedicated member of the agri-specialist team in your area, visit www.ulsterbank.ie/agri.

Image The Ulster Bank agriculture crew