MRLS Loan Regulations Being Drafted

Federal and state officials are drafting regulations for federal loans that will be available for eligible farmers impacted by mare reproductive loss syndrome.

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders said U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency officials from Washington, D.C., and Kentucky met the week of Dec. 17 in Lexington. David Switzer, executive director of the KTOB, said he was told the regulatory process could take four to six months.

During the visit, federal officials met with members of the equine industry to gain a better understanding of MRLS and its affect on horses, owners, stallion managers, and boarding operations. The KTOB, in conjunction with the Farm Service Agency, intends to host an industry forum to explain the eligibility requirements.

"We intend to do this as we get closer to the final approval of the regulations," Switzer said. "We certainly hope the process can move sooner than later, as the deadline for applications is Sept. 30, 2002."

Non-Kentucky residents who may be eligible for assistance would be served by their state's Farm Service Agency. Additional information is available from the KTOB at (859) 259-1643.