The Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program was established in November of 1991 to facilitate the establishment feeder associations so that members could retain or purchase feeder cattle. The Association of Manitoba Feeder Cooperatives (AMFC) was first organized in 1999 (incorporated in 2007) as a democratic body to represent all feeder associations, in Manitoba, on matters of mutual interest and benefit, respecting the autonomy of the individual associations.
Initially there were five functions outlined, as follows, as being important to all associations:
1. To lobby on behalf of all feeder associations in Manitoba on association specific issues.
2. To work to improve the operation of all feeder associations.
3. To endeavor to educate the members of all feeder associations so as to improve the profitability
of their own operations.
4. To act on behalf of all associations on negotiations regarding such matters as bank lending rates,
surety bonds and insurance programs when requested to do so.
5. To enhance public awareness of the feeder association program.
To establish a new feeder or breeder association requires at least fifteen individuals to form a company under the Cooperatives Act. Each association operates as a stand-alone company that elects its own board of directors, hires its own staff and tenders for banking services. Each association must also abide by the regulations of the Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program (MLALGP) which is administered by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). Because ownership of the cattle stays with the association all cattle must be branded with the association brand when purchased. As the individual loans are paid by the association the cattle are released to the member. To take part in the Program individuals must apply for membership in an existing association or with a minimum of
fifteen members form their own association. Once approved the member must have on deposit 5% of their approved limit, for a feeder association, or a deposit of 10% in the case of a breeder association. The contract terms for the feeder associations are 12 months, with a possible extension to 15 months, and up to 7 years for a breeder association.
Some of the benefits of financing through the Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee Program are:
• Since the cattle are owned by the association no other assets are encumbered and are available to use as security for other borrowing activities such as lines of credit
• Once approved members have access to a reliable source of credit at short notice and at rates generally not available to individuals.
• Each association is member-controlled.
• Members have the benefit of the experience of other members.