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New Ohio Loan Program Aims to Help Small Farmers Grow Big Ideas
Posted on: 11/01/2012
By  Mike Cullums
 
A new statewide initiative will offer money to grow opportunities for sustainable agriculture.
 
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is partnering with a group of homegrown investors to launch the OEFFA Investment Fund, which will offer loans to members employing environmentally sound ag practices that are financially viable, yet donít fit the mold for traditional banking loans.
 
The farm associationís executive director, Carol Goland, says conventional lending is typically not available to small-scale, diversified farms.
 
"Thereís so much excitement and enthusiasm for locally produced, organically raised products and yet these businesses arenít able to take advantage of the market opportunity thatís out there because of their inability to access capital," Goland explains.
 
Most of the requests are expected to be in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. While most of the investments will involve loans, Goland says there are innovative options.
 
" Other kinds of investments will also be considered," she says. "For instance, a revenue sharing agreement, royalties, a land lease - the possibilities are really only limited by the imagination of the entrepreneurs who seek funding."
 
Applications are being accepted starting today, with the first funding decisions expected in January. More information can be found at the groupís website: www.oeffa.org
 
Information for this report came from the Ohio News Service.
 
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