2018 Microloan Applications Now Available!
The VFC Microlending Committee is pleased to announce that applications for our 2018 Microlending Initiative are here. We invite any local farm or business selling food or products at the Viroqua Farmers Market, or directly to the VFC, to apply for a one-year no-interest loan of up to $3,500. Through the VFC Microlending Initiative, VFC aims to strengthen small, local farmers and producers that are part of our local food system.
Deadline: Applications are due by January 26, 2018 and can be sent to Bjorn Bergman, VFC Outreach Coordinator at 609 N Main St, Viroqua, WI, or by emailing: email@example.com
Announcement: The VFC Microlending Initiative Committee (includes VFC Staff and Board of Directors) will review applications in late January 2018 and announce the recipient(s) in the 2018 Spring Pea Soup Newsletter.
Types of projects funded by the VFC Microlending Initiative are the ones that:
1. Help fill a hole in local food system by expanding production and/or distribution of products.
2. Purchase equipment to increase efficiency and decrease production costs.
3. Help a local producer grow their business.
2017 Microloan Awarded to Deep Rooted
We are excited to announce that Deep Rooted is the recipient of the 2017 VFC Microloan! The VFCMicrolending Committee is pleased to fulfill their entire request of $3,500 to build a walk-in cooler at their farm.
Deep Rooted owners Tiffany Cade and Jimmy Fackert operate a certified organic greenhouse outside of Westby. They are VFC’s primary supplier of local certified organic tomatoes May-October each year.
Deep Rooted received a one-year no-interest loan of $3,500 to build a walk-in cooler at their farm. By adding a cooler, they planned to expand their certified organic production to include a variety of greens, vegetables, cut flowers and increase quality and shelf life of their produce.
The VFC has a deep commitment to local and organic farms, businesses and foods. As a result, the Microlending Committee is excited to have the opportunity to support one of our local producers with financing to transition their product lines to 100% certified organic. Wisco Pop previously received a 2014 VFC Microloan for $1,500 that helped finance bottling their sodas for the first time.
The VFC Microlending Initiative was created in 2012 by the VFC Board of Directors as a way to make interest-free loan(s) of up to $3,500 available for farms and producers selling to the VFC or at the Viroqua Farmers Market. Loans are aimed at financing new projects or infrastructure for small farmers/producers that will help them grow their businesses and must be paid back within one year.
Through the Microlending Initiative the VFC strengthens small, local farms and producers that supply the Co-op and creates opportunities to improve their operations.
Congratulations again to Tiffany Cade and Jimmy Fackert of Deep Rooted!
Microfinance: the granting of very small loans. While this is a concept most closely associated with the developing world, tight credit and the recession have increased the demand for smaller loans in the United States, giving microlending a higher profile and broadening its appeal.
Interest-free loans are opposite of the normal cycle all too many farmers find themselves in – the cycle of high interest loans, debt, and the inability to reach financial security and true economic viability through their business. VFC’s intention is to share the resources that we have to better enable farmers to provide us with the food and resources needed to live a healthy life.
Through the VFC Microlending Initiative we hope to strengthen small, local farms and other businesses that are part of our local food system and create opportunities to improve their operations.
Past Microloan Recipients