Australian Government low-interest farm business lender, RIC (Regional Investment Corporation) has reached a new milestone settling 3,000 farm loans worth more than $3.24 billion since inception on 1 July 2018.
RIC Chief Executive Officer John Howard said reaching 3,000 farm loan customers was a significant milestone and is pleased RIC has supported so many Australian farmers during succession, start-up and through tough financial times.
“We’re proud to support Australian farmers with our low-interest loans to build farm businesses like our 3,000th customer, Earth Eggs, operated by South Australian egg producers, Trudy and Andrew Pilmore,” said Mr Howard.
“Trudy and Andrew have decades of industry experience and it’s great to see them bring this to owning their very own farm business for the first time with help from their RIC AgriStarter Loan.
“Agriculture is a challenging industry to start out and operate in, but RIC exists to provide some financial relief to family-owned farm businesses across Australia.”
As owners of Earth Eggs in West Range, South Australia, the Pilmores settled their RIC AgriStarter Loan at the end of 2023. This low-interest loan will help to fast-track their business plans after they purchased the egg production business in September 2022, after 22 years’ experience working for others in the industry.
Mr Pilmore said: “We were looking at how we were going to finish off some of the projects to build the business and it was pretty tough with the interest rates – our cash flow was very tight.”
With its 5-year interest-only period, the Pilmores used their AgriStarter Loan to refinance some of their existing business debt.
Mrs Pilmore said: “Having a cheaper interest rate means we can keep going and finish those projects, and we buy-in additional pullets about four times a year.
“Our RIC loan also means we can eliminate our equipment finance loan and the extra money we will save will be used to keep the interest on our remaining debt down.
“It was really a grand leap of faith, but I think everybody needs a good egg.”
Earth Eggs is home to 8000 hens producing up to 4500 eggs daily. Its product is classed as pastured free range, a type of production which focuses on lower stocking densities and rotational grazing so there is always ground cover and plant species for the hens to eat, in addition to grain.
Read more on RIC loans here.
Read more on Trudy and Andrew Pilmore’s story here.
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RIC (Regional Investment Corporation) is an Australian Government farm business lender providing low-interest loans for farmers and farm-related small businesses in financial need to strengthen Australian agriculture. RIC loans can be used for management, recovery and future proofing following severe business disruption due to drought, natural disasters, biosecurity issues or other significant market events. RIC loans can also help farm businesses to establish first generation farmers or succession planning for next generation farmers. RIC’s vision is to build thriving regional communities. Since 1 July 2018 RIC has settled 3,009 loans valued at more than $3.24 billion as at 31 December 2023.