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Alan

Riverhill Farm

Nevada City / Nevada, CA

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Personal Story

Our names are Alan Haight and Josephine McProud. We are the husband and wife farming partners of Riverhill Farm. Our path to becoming farmers was neither short nor linear. We both pursued other careers before farming: Alan as a paralegal and landscape contractor, Jo as a landscape architect. While these backgrounds gave us valuable tools and skills to use in farm life, we were both drawn to the values and lifestyle inherent in farming. Alan learned to farm as a teenager and had long hoped to return to the land for his livelihood. With the purchase of Riverhill Farm in 2001 his dreams were realized.

Our days as farmers are long and sometimes difficult, but we are encouraged by the support of our customers and gratified in the knowledge that we are doing honest, important work. At the end of each day we can rest assured that we have helped to nourish our community and care for our land.

This short video will introduce you to us and our farm:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smoO9ZMFaFI&feature=youtu.be

Although the location of Riverhill Farm was an historic farm, it had not been farmed since the early 1960's, and there was no surviving infrastructure (deer fencing, irrigation, outbuildings, etc.) that could be used to establish Riverhill Farm. We have invested all of our resources in building the basic infrastructure of the farm and meeting the annual direct costs of production. We have had the pleasure of watching our vision come to life. Now we are faced with the need to find funding to make further investments to insure that we can continue our work in ways that will be more efficient and sustainable.

Business Description

Riverhill Farm is a small, family farm of 20 acres nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. We have been developing the farm since 2001 and have worked hard each year to increase our production, our efficiency and our sales. We are strongly committed to farming in a way that is sustainable for the environment. Our farm is certified organic, and we also take other measures to protect and enhance the environment that we are privileged to farm and to call our home: we have planted hedgerows of native plants around the farm to provide habitat for birds and insects. With the help of local school children, we have restored a wetland area for additional habitat and for the protection of the water quality of our rivers and streams.

Proudly, nearly all of our produce is sold within 30 miles of the farm at Farmers’ Markets, our local natural foods co-op and restaurants. It is important to us that Riverhill Farm serves our local community. By also opening the farm to the public for our weekly farmstand and U-Pick, we have encouraged people to experience the source of their food and to understand the importance of keeping small-scale farms as part of the landscape and the local economy. We are committed to paying our employees a living wage and providing an opportunity for young, aspiring farmers to learn the skills and realities of farming. Our hope is that we can provide a model for a farm that is sustainable both environmentally and economically.

Our farm faces a challenge shared by most small farms: how to meet the high direct costs of annual production (seeds, fertilizer, labor) while building an efficient and profitable farm with appropriate investments in equipment and infrastructure.

With the help of a Kiva Zip loan, we will be able to increase our efficiency, profitability, better serve our customers and continue to reach our goals for the farm.

What is the purpose of this loan?

A loan from Kiva Zip will allow us to make a number of improvements in infrastructure and investments in equipment. These investments will allow us to increase our productivity, reduce our cost of production, and improve the sustainability of the farm. Without access to another means of financing, we have already been forced to dip into our working capital or to use high-interest rate credit cards as a source of "bridge funding" on some investments. A loan from Kiva Zip will allow us to pay off these investments and make additional investments in a prudent way. Funding would be used to pay for for the following:

Hot water heating system for greenhouse benches - $2,500.
This improvement will allow us to produce our own seedlings with an energy efficient system of heating the greenhouse tables. The result will save on energy and boost our seedling plant production.

Pendulum fertilizer spreader - $2,700.
This small-scale tractor implement will allow us to efficiently spread organic fertilizers/soil amendments. The result will be savings in the cost of amendments and the labor involved in amending our soil.

Tractor tool bar with disks and cultivating blades - $1,400
This small-scale tractor implement will allow us to mechanically cultivate our crops to control weeds. We will also be able to shape planting beds and hill potatoes efficiently. This will create savings in labor costs and increase yields and profits.

Used delivery van - $7,400
Purchasing a larger vehicle will allow us to take more produce to Farmers' Markets and to the local coop. It will also protect the produce from heat and damage during transit. This will create a direct increase in our sales and ensure the quality of our product.

Deer fencing - $3,000
This infrastructure investment will allow us to increase our area of production by enclosing an additional part of our farm and protecting it from damage by deer and rabbits. This will increase our production and also give us the opportunity to fallow some acreage to benefit the health of the soil.

Alan's loan is endorsed by California FarmLink. The information below explains why his trustee thinks Alan is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

1 year - 3 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

California FarmLink knows Alan through a variety of different ways. He is very active in the sustainable agriculture community in the Sierra Foothills as a farmer, working at Cooperative Extension, as an advocate for stronger local food systems, and in other capacities. He has been a resource that we have gone to for a variety of reasons when we are doing work in his area. Also, more recently, Alan has become a borrower of FarmLink. He received a $15,000 operating loan in 2012 that he paid back on-time and in full. And he is current on a $25,000 operating loan this year.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

Alan is thoughtful, smart, measured, and deliberate. We are endorsing him for a Kiva Zip loan because we believe that his farm business has the ability to repay this loan and he has demonstrated to us the ability to take out a loan and repay it on time and in full.

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

Riverhill Farm is a sustainable small farm in Nevada City, CA. Alan has a diversified organic vegetable farm. We met him through the Briar Patch Co-op where he sells some of his produce. They buy directly from his farm and are very supportive of Alan and his business, giving us a great recommendation when we made a loan to him last year. We know that Alan is looking to invest in infrastructure for his farm and a Kiva Zip loan would help him do that.

220 Total , 33 invited by Alan , 5 invited by Trustee
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PAYING BACK

A loan of $17,000 helps me to make needed capital improvements to the farm so that we can reduce costs while increasing our production, profits and sustainability.

Disbursed Oct 22, 2013
Repayment Term:
48 monthly payments
Grace Period:
2 months
Listed:
Sep 25, 2013
Disbursed:
Oct 22, 2013
Paying Back:
Oct 22, 2013

About Riverhill Farm

Industry:
Agriculture
Years in Operation:
More than 5 years
Website:
riverhillfarm.com
Follow:
Facebook
Badges:
Badge_connectedness_gold_small

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
Non-Profit
Location:
Santa Cruz, CA
Badges:
Badge_repayment_silver_small Badge_connectedness_silver_small
On Zip Since:
Jul 19, 2012
(21 months)
Loans Endorsed:
3
Total Value:
$32,000
Fundraising/Raised:
1
Paying on Time:
Not enough data
Paying Back Late:
Not enough data
Repaid in Full:
Not enough data
Defaulted:
Not enough data
Repayment Rate:
100%
Why are you endorsing Alan?

Alan is thoughtful, smart, measured, and deliberate. We are endorsing him for a Kiva Zip loan because we believe that his farm business has the ability to repay this loan and he has demonstrated to us the ability to take out a loan and repay it on time and in full.

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.
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