The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved $5,407,739.00 in low-interest loans for breeders in Central Kentucky negatively-impacted by mare reproductive loss syndrome.
The program was developed by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders and the American Horse Council. The organizations worked closely with members of Kentucky's Congressional Delegation, including Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Jim Bunning, and Congressman Ernie Fletcher, to gain approval.
Fifteen out of 31 applications were approved, with 11 being withdrawn.
"It was definitely uncharted waters for FSA, but looking back on the experience, we certainly learned interesting things about the horse industry," said Jeff Hall, the state executive director for USDA Farm Service Agency programs in Kentucky.
The maximum loan amount was $500,000, said David Switzer, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.