ANCA launches fund to aid farmers

May, 2022

SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack North Country Association has launched a new program to help farmers and food entrepreneurs who have difficulty accessing financing through conventional lenders.

ANCA’s SOIL Loan Fund will provide flexible, zero-interest loans between $5,000 to $45,000 to qualified farm and food businesses. The regional economic development nonprofit established the program in response to a demonstrated need among North Country producers.

ANCA is working with Foodshed Capital, a certified Community Development Financial Institution with a focus on equitable access and regenerative agriculture, to implement the $100,000 fund.

“Farming has unique challenges and risks — especially in northern New York, where farmers contend with short growing and marketing seasons, few processing facilities and a relatively small, dispersed customer base,” said ANCA Executive Director Elizabeth Cooper. “These and other challenges can make it difficult for small farms to qualify for the financing that can help them grow.

“Foodshed Capital offers an effective model that couples loans with direct technical assistance such as bookkeeping, marketing assistance and advanced business plan development,” Cooper added. “With Foodshed’s lending strategy and our deep relationships in the region’s farming community, we can begin to address local producers’ financing needs.”

Read the full article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.