The Department of Agriculture will help ease the financial burden of beef farmers by extending the interest free component of the Nova Scotia Ruminant Loan Support Program for another year. The department will offset the interest payments for current and new clients of the Nova Scotia Ruminant Loan Support Program administered by the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board. Announced in December 2004, the Nova Scotia Ruminant Loan Support Program provides more than $10 million in loans to producers to help them with the financial challenges resulting from continued depressed market conditions as a result of BSE. The loan support program remains open to all ruminant livestock producers. The interest grant is in its second year. This will give some producers a total of three years interest free. Information on the Ruminant Support Loan Program is available through the Farm Loan Board office, 902-893-6506.