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Looking to finance your farm improvement? A Cultivate loan is the answer


With two young children on the farm and plans to grow his beef enterprise, farmer Conor Kennedy recognised the need to invest in his farm, so he turned to his local credit union and applied for a Cultivate loan.

Cultivate is the collaborative credit union finance lending platform for farmers; an initiative that provides short to medium-term loan finance built specifically around their growing needs. Now available in over 100 locations across Ireland, it is a farmer-friendly finance option for farmers seeking unsecured funding up to €50,000 over seven years.

Farm safety and better-quality animals

With a young family on the farm, it was a clear priority for Conor and his wife Mary to ensure that they had the right handling facilities in place. Whilst maintaining a focus on improving the quality of the animals, they also needed to ensure they were addressing any health and safety concerns.

“Mainly what I wanted to use the Cultivate loan for was to improve breeding stock on the farm and improve the handling facilities, cattle crush and loading areas. From the health and safety point of view with suckler beef cattle, it’s very important to have good handling facilities,” Conor said.

Straightforward process

To help realise these key initiatives, Conor and Mary contacted their local credit union and availed of a Cultivate loan. The application process for the young couple was very accessible as Conor describes: “The process was very straightforward from the first time I phoned the credit union; it was about a two-week process involved.”

Participating credit unions make decisions locally. Local loans officers have the discretion to take a farmer’s circumstances into account. Conor’s local credit union understood the reality facing farmers in Ireland and could reflect his financial circumstances, personal circumstances, needs and track record as part of the loan review process.

“The Cultivate loan has made life easier for me from number one, improving the breeding stock on my farm and two, improving the handling facilities of testing cattle and loading cattle.”


Conor Kennedy

Conor Kennedy

Conor Kennedy

Unsecured loans

Having gone through the full process of applying and securing a Cultivate loan, Conor’s words of reflection highlight a very positive experience: “The biggest advantage of applying for the Cultivate loan against other loans was the process was very straightforward and there was no collateral needed. I’d certainly recommend the Cultivate loan for anyone to do any improvements or upgrades on their farm.”

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 Conor Kennedy for a wide range of investments including:

  • Stocking or working capital
  • Upgrading farm buildings and handling facilities
  • Purchasing new or second-hand machinery
  • Undertaking farm improvement works such as fencing and reclamation

Cultivate loans are offered by 36 credit unions across 111 locations in Ireland. A full list of participating credit unions is available here.

If you need a flexible farmer-friendly loan, call freephone 1800 839 999, pop into your participating local credit union today or visit the Cultivate website to learn more.

Loans are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating which may limit your ability to access credit in the future. The cost of your repayments may increase. Credit unions in Ireland are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.