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Ag investment fund to help farmers with renewable energy projects


March 19, 2008
By Fruit & Vegetable

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Ag Energy Co-operative is
partnering with ACC Farmers’ Financial to establish an
agriculture-focused investment fund that will help farmers participate
and benefit from renewable energy production. Many farmers face
difficulties in getting specific projects started.

Ag Energy Co-operative is partnering with ACC Farmers’ Financial to establish an agriculture-focused investment fund that will help farmers participate and benefit from renewable energy production. Many farmers face difficulties in getting specific projects started. According to Ron Witherspoon, a Regina consultant specializing in agricultural finance and investment, Canadian farmers are having trouble moving up the value-added chain. Mike Bouk, executive director of Ag Energy Co-operative, believes there’s a crippling gap between the opportunities opened by the government’s energy policies and farmers being able to get projects off the ground. The new investment fund hopes to bridge this gap by providing farmers access to capital and helping them get projects off the ground. The co-operative is studying experiences in both Canada and the U.S. to determine what works and what doesn’t for getting energy projects up and going. It’s also identifying the most appropriate financing model based on the lessons learned in the Canadian and U.S. study. The co-operative is also developing a comprehensive business plan. The fund is primarily available for renewable energy projects and is owned by farmers. More information on how farmers can participate in the fund is available by calling 519-763-3026, ext. 222 or e-mailing mbouk@agenergy.coop.

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