Community Agriculture Alliance: micro-loan program provides direct support to local agriculture

Community Agriculture Alliance has worked to promote and support local agriculture in the Yampa Valley since 1999. As the community continues to grow and change, the picturesque working landscapes provided by agriculture remain cohesive.

Iconic images of grazing cattle or hay bales are not just for photographs, but if we value agriculture then we must support our local farmers and ranchers. Support programs for local agricultural producers remain an essential part of the alliance’s mission as a non-profit organization. Launched in 2019, the alliance has developed a microcredit program focused on providing direct financial support to local agriculture. The program was funded by an initial donor with a donation of $ 10,000 to launch the revolving loan fund.

In recent years, more donors have contributed to the fund and broadened its impact. To date, the alliance has provided five loans that include funding for fencing for grazing rotating livestock, extending the season for vegetable production and building a new greenhouse.

A committee of alliance board members will accept and review applications with the goal of providing short-term micro-loans to local agricultural producers. The terms and amounts of the loan will be based on the specific details of the project. Basic information and eligibility are as follows:

• The applicant must be an existing business or farm.

• Applicant must be 18 years of age or have an adult co-signer.

• The candidate must adhere to the anti-discrimination policy of the alliance and be a current member of the alliance.

• Loans cannot be used for general operation, purchase or rental of land; applications should focus on specific needs or on a project.

• Loans are small – less than $ 10,000 – and short term – three months to two years – with an interest rate of 2.5%.

• The repayment of the loans will be returned to the microcredit fund.

Current micro-loan applications are accepted until December 15. Some ideas for projects, beyond food production, that agricultural producers should consider include:

• A solar pump for watering livestock.

• Seed cover crops for rangelands or erosion control.

• Planting trees for water, wind or animal habitat control.

• A new or improved door on an existing head door for better water control.

• Fence or electric fence for cross fences.

• New spray nozzles or boom for better application and reduced drift.

If you would like to know more about this program, call Michele Meyer at 970-879-4370 or email [email protected]. Loan application forms are available online at

If you want to invest in local agriculture, this program is a unique way to have a direct impact on local producers. You can donate on the alliance website, using the donate button on the home page and just note that you want the contribution to go to the micro-loan fund.

And the next time you pass a scenic hay or cattle field, be sure to thank a local farmer or rancher for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to farming in the Yampa Valley.

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