By Ron Gullberg, Communications Director

March 30, 2017


Business Council to provide disaster relief to Big Horn Basin, Fremont County growers

CEO Shawn Reese on economic disaster loans

The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors voted unanimously Thursday to support the 60 families with ownership stake in Wyoming Sugar, an agricultural cooperative in the Big Horn Basin.

The state’s economic development agency will provide up to $5,675,650 in loans to provide relief in the wake of a weather-related disaster for area sugar beet growers.

Intense fall rains and a hard winter freeze devastated last year’s harvest in Big Horn, Fremont and Washakie counties.

Staff will now analyze each loan for sufficient collateral and cash flow. The 10-year loans will include 3.5 percent in annual interest.

On average, each loan will be about $158,000, though that amount will range from $13,000 to nearly $500,000.

This will be the fourth time the Business Council, Wyoming’s economic development agency, has provided loans under the disaster relief provision of its Challenge Loan program.

“Our mission is to increase Wyoming’s prosperity, and agriculture is a huge contributor to that prosperity,” said Shawn Reese, chief executive officer of the Business Council. “The sugar beet industry in particular is important to the Big Horn Basin. The loans will help these growers and families get back on their feet and get ready for the next growing season.”

Josh Keefe, the agency's economic development finance manager, will be at the Worland Community Center April 4 to visit with those affected by the disaster. The deadline for submitting a loan application is May 15.

The agency has provided 123 alfalfa, bean and beet growers $6,038,396 in economic disaster loans since 2000. Of those, six growers defaulted on a total of $84,201. The interest income since 2000 totals $941,414 and the principal remains untouched.

For more information, call Keefe at 307-777-2882.

 

About the Wyoming Business Council: Our mission is to increase Wyoming’s prosperity. We envision a Wyoming where industries are strong, diverse and expanding. Small business is a big deal. Communities have the highest quality of life. Wyoming is the technology center of the High Plains. Wyoming knows no boundaries. Please go to www.wyomingbusiness.org for more information.

Agribusiness

Related News & Updates

Farmers market, mercantile highlight weekend events at state fair

Farmers market, mercantile highlight weekend events at state fair
  • Date: Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fresh Wyoming produce and a live cooking demonstration will highlight the Wyoming State Fair Farmers Market at 11 a.m. Saturday in Douglas. The annual event promotes local agriculture and this year...

Read More

New malter helps Wyoming ag, beverage industries

New malter helps Wyoming ag, beverage industries
  • Date: Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A stone’s throw from Wyoming’s eastern border is a bright red, low-slung warehouse amid acres of rustling grain. The mid-July sun glinted off giant granary bins standing in two orderly rows. Inside...

Read More