Selma Cafe launches pilot farm lending program with Kiva.org

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On March 19, 2017 the Selma Cafe board approved a pilot lending program to support local, sustainable farmers close to home and around the country.  All lending will occur through Kiva.org  We hope you will consider joining us to support farmers not just with our purchasing power, but by making affordable finance a reality.  Here is a search link you can use to quickly and easily find farmers in the US currently funding.

Kiva allows farmers (and all small entrepreneurial businesses) to borrow up to $10,000 at zero percent interest and at no cost.  In the first week of the program, Selma has already made loans to Brigham, Edward and our local Mitzi Koors at her new farm Full Flower Farm in Grass Lake, MI.

Know someone who could really use a farm loan?  Send them our way.  In addition to lending, Selma Cafe will be playing an active role in helping originate new loans and promoting loans that are in the funding period.  Contact jeff@selmacafe.org

The new Selma Cafe lending program works as follows:

  • $10,000 allocated for lending through Kiva.org over an initial 12 month period.
  • Creates 2 classes of potential borrowers to support
    • “our local farmers” (defined as within Michigan and/or within 150 miles)  with loans up to $500
    • “all local farmers” (serving local, sustainable food needs, anywhere in the US) with loans up to $100
  • Lending will only be directed to farms who are obviously oriented toward sustainable practices such as organic, grass fed, etc. and not to farms who work in the conventional chemical agriculture practices.
  • Lending priority will be given to:
    • Beginning Farmers (farming less than 10 years)
    • Minority farmers
    • Women farmers
  • Only farm loans.  For this pilot program we will focus on farms and not other food related businesses.

We have also formed and are lending through the Kiva lending team The Future of Farming.  Together we can create this future, one loan at a time.  Thank you for continued support of small-scale sustainable farms!

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