After a successful pilot project, the New Farmer Mentorship and Loan Program is ready to support more Comox Valley farmers in 2019.

The New Farmer Mentorship and Loan Program matches up farmers that require small loans to purchase farming equipment with mentors and lenders that are interested in supporting local agriculture. Loans are negotiated and agreed upon directly between the farmers and lenders and can range from $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000.

Local farmer and 2018 loan recipient Derrick Pawlowski said, “This is a great program and I believe it offers important access to financial support during the challenging initial startup phases for new farms.”

New farmers are required to have a minimum of one year of farming experience and participate in a mentorship/support network. They are also required to submit a business plan as part of their application, and demonstrate how the loan will increase their production and sales.

The program is currently looking for mentors and lenders for the 2019 season. Mentors with expertise in farming, operations efficiency, marketing, business, and/or risk management would be welcome additions to the program. Making a small loan to a farmer for necessary equipment, or mentoring someone starting out in farming, are great ways to help increase the availability of locally-grown food.

If you are interested in being a mentor or lender for the 2019 season, please contact Don Munroe at donm203@gmail.com

The New Farmer Mentorship and Loan Program was developed as an offshoot of the Comox Valley Responsible Investing Club.

 

Don Munroe