10/28/2014 03:29 EDT | Updated 12/28/2014 05:59 EST

Alberta announces more funding to help rural-based businesses flourish

COCHRANE, Alta. - Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says the province is pitching in with more money to help rural-based industries.

Prentice says the Agriculture Opportunity Fund will double to $3.5 million.

And the Feeder Association Loan Guarantee will be doubled to $1 million.

Prentice says the loans will give cattle feeders more access to cash in response to higher market prices.

The changes come after a committee toured the province last spring.

The financial impact of Alberta's rural sector is estimated to be more than $77 billion a year.