To help make this plan a reality, they turned to their local credit union and applied for a Cultivate loan.

Cultivate is an initiative operated by a group of 40 credit unions to provide short- to medium-term loan finance built specifically around the growing needs of Irish farmers. In these uncertain times, Cultivate is a farmer-friendly finance option for farmers seeking unsecured funding up to €50,000 over seven years.

Given the uncertainty with beef and tillage prices, the Cogan family felt a move into dairy was their best option, especially with the next generation coming through and the growth in demand in the dairy industry.

With Robert, a young farmer who is progressive and ambitious involved, they decided to invest in a meal bin and a slurry tank while also making improvements to their existing milking parlour.

To support some of these activities, Maurice and Robert turned to their local credit union and availed of a Cultivate loan.

The application process for Maurice and Robert worked really well; in their own words “from start to finish, the whole process was very straight-forward. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of the Cultivate loan.”

Finance from people who understand farming

Equally as important for Robert was the level of understanding and support available at his local credit union in relation to the needs of their business.

“The ambition is to farm into the future by increasing the size of the herd and continually investing and improving the facilities on the farm. Moving to dairy requires a very big investment. The credit union understood our business and our needs”.

With the help of the Cultivate loan, Maurice and Robert fully transitioned into dairy farming. They are now milking 49 cows and have ambitions to grow their herd significantly in the coming months and years ahead.

Robert found the level of understanding and support available at the credit union highly important.

Having gone through the full process of applying and securing a Cultivate loan, Maurice’s words of advice reflect a very positive experience: “I would highly recommend that farmers wanting to make improvements to their farm consider applying for a Cultivate loan.”

Unsecured loans

As a farmer-friendly finance option, 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.

The Cogans used the Cultivate loan to invest in a meal bin and a slurry tank, while also making improvements to their existing milking parlour.

Cultivate loans are used by farmers such as Maurice and Robert Cogan for a wide range of investments, including:

  • Stocking or working capital.
  • Upgrading farm buildings and facilities.
  • Purchasing new or second-hand machinery.
  • Undertaking farm improvement works, such as fencing and reclamation.
  • Cultivate loans are offered by 128 locations across 40 credit unions in Ireland. A full list of participating credit unions is available at

    Normal life may be on hold, but farming life continues. Like farmers, credit unions are here for the long haul.

    If you need a flexible farmer-friendly loan, call FREEPHONE 1800-839 999, pop into your participating local credit union today or visit 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.