Video: How ‘life got much easier on farm’ for this Co. Clare suckler farmer

Paul Crowe is a farmer who needed better calving facilities. When he went looking for finance, he realised that, outside of the traditional financing methods, there are more suitable options available including the Cultivate loan that is offered by participating Credit Unions.

Cultivate is an initiative created by a group of 26 Credit Unions to provide short to medium-term loan finance built specifically around the growing needs of Irish farmers. Cultivate is a specialised loan for farmers seeking unsecured funding up to €50,000 over seven years.

Modernising his farm

Paul Crowe, a part-time suckler farmer based in Kilrush, Co. Clare, is one farmer who realised the benefits of the Cultivate loan.

Paul used the finance provided by his local Credit Union to build a shed extension for calving. The original farm set-up didn’t have good calving facilities and calving his cows in the spring was taking a lot of time before he left for his off-farm job each morning.

As Paul described: “The farm here is based on a very old type of farm. I had no calving facilities set up properly.”

The financial support provided through the Cultivate loan was key to helping Paul to modernise his farm. The ease of access to the loan and the people-focused approach offered by his local Credit Union made the overall experience a very positive one for Paul.

“The Cultivate loan is a loan for farmers provided by people who understand farming. Life is much easier on the farm now since I got my loan.”

A wide range of investments

As a farmer-friendly finance option, loan repayment schedules are available up to a period of seven years, with flexibility to repay at times that make sense for the individual farmer.

Cultivate loans are unsecured, and there is no need to be an existing Credit Union member to avail of a loan. Farmers can sign up in their local participating Credit Union office and be eligible to apply for a Cultivate loan immediately.

Cultivate loans are used by farmers like Paul Crowe for a wide range of investments, including:

  • Purchasing new or second-hand machinery;
  • Upgrading farm buildings and facilities;
  • Undertaking farm improvement works such as fencing and reclamation;
  • Buying additional livestock.

Further information

Cultivate loans are offered by 26 Credit Unions in Ireland. A full list of participating Credit Unions is available at:

If you are a farmer looking to invest in your business, pop into your local participating Credit Union today, or FREEPHONE: 1800-839-999; or visit: to learn more about farmer-friendly finance.