Doniga

Markegard Family Grass-Fed LLC

Half Moon Bay, CA

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Personal Story

I have a diverse background in living close to the Earth with values of appreciation and care of all living things. As a youth, I lived and worked on an organic farm and attended a full-time high school immersion program in nature, tracking, bird language and wilderness survival skills at the Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, Washington.

My formal education includes a Bachelors Degree in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College, Arizona and yearlong intensive training with the Regenerative Design Institute.

Along with my husband and four children, I own and operate Markegard Family Grass-Fed LLC raising grass-fed beef, lamb, pastured pork, chicken and dairy to supply the community with local, nutrient dense foods. My deep observation experience aids in my ability to monitor grassland health, biodiversity and to manage land based on the principles and patterns found in nature. I am passionate about finding ways to regenerate lands and community through ranching practices that build soil, sequester carbon, capture water and enhance habitat.

Upon meeting my husband, I transitioned his cow/calf cattle operation into 100% grass-fed and worked to add diversity by raising chickens, sheep, pigs and dairy cows. I found a way to create a job for myself on the ranch by creating a successful CSA where customers can have access to local meats and raw dairy. I am continually working towards collaborative projects with neighboring farms and ranches to find ways to revive local, regenerative agriculture.

I have an immense passion for the natural world and helping others live a life of balance with the Earth and all living things, leading a life of example where my own actions are deliberated into the health of the future generations.

Business Description

Markegard Family Grass-Fed LLC is a family owned and operated business that provides food to Bay Area residents. Our family operation leases land in San Mateo and Sonoma Counties and raises grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, pastured pork, chicken and dairy cows. Our Ranch specializes in Belted Galloway cattle, a heritage breed from Scotland. This breed was chosen for the ability to finish well on grass, producing high quality meat while preserving a heritage breed.

We are Doniga and Erik Markegard, a husband wife team that started Markegard Family Grass-Fed in 2005 to meet the growing demand for local grass-fed beef in the Bay Area. As avid locavores we wanted to participate in the effort to grow and consume food within the foodshed, contribute to food security and reduce the need for high-energy imports.

The biggest challenge facing our Family is access to land and capital to grow our business. Each year the business has grown and diversified in order to become sustainable into the future. Our family ranch has a dedicated group of customers that participate in weekly deliveries, farmers markets, yearly meat shares and on farm ranch tours. We strive to keep our prices low so that families can afford this healthy product.

The long-term vision for our family business is to grow in order to provide more local food, local jobs and leave a legacy of regenerative practices that are resilient in the face of a changing climate.

What is the purpose of this loan?

The loan will be spent on a trailer that will have the capability to both haul livestock to slaughter and backhaul frozen meat from the butcher. The majority of meat processing plants in California are designed for the aggregation of cattle into Confined Animal Feeding Operations or CAFO’s. This is where the majority of cattle in the United States end their lives. This loan will be a prototype for small-mid scale local food producers to manage the challenges of transportation by cutting the trips in half, making the transition from selling to feedlot to selling direct to the consumer much easier.

Making the transition to grass-fed cattle ranching also means making a commitment to see the process all the way from conception to final consumer. There are large bottlenecks in this type of industry and this loan will address one of those bottlenecks – transportation. The closest processing plant is a 2 hour drive from our home ranch. This is where we take the animals to a certified animal welfare approved facility to get slaughtered and then from there they are either transported down the road to a small artisan butcher or stay at the slaughter house to be cut, wrapped and labeled with our ranch label. We then pick up the meat when it is finished. By receiving this loan we will cut our trips in half.

A used 20’ aluminum trailer will cost us $8,000. The remainder of the loan will go towards the insulation and refrigeration for the front tack room. We plan have a working unit within a month of receiving this loan.

With the addition of this livestock/meat combination trailer we will be able to be more efficient with our time as well as cut down on the fuel used in transport. This means more time with family and taking care of the animals and the ranch and less time on the highway. This will also allow us to spread our product out more efficiently through the year so we are providing fresher product and a large variety of product throughout the year.

We want this model to serve as an open source prototype for other grass-fed ranchers to replicate and improve on efficiency.

Doniga's loan is endorsed by TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation. The information below explains why her trustee thinks Doniga 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.

They run a local grassfed beef operation in our area and we host educational conferences and workshops together to help educate others on the importance of sustainable land management approaches and how we can work together to grow healthy food on a healthy landscape, protect native habitat, and build soil for future generations.

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

Doniga and her family run a successful business that cares for the land, the animals, the habitat, and the ranching community - all while creating a great and natural product for customers and sharing what they do with others.

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

There is increasing recognition and demand for natural, healthy, protein products that are grown by local family ranchers who care for their animals and their land in a way that makes us feel good about what we are eating. They have a great product and are close to the SF bay area consumer market that cares about healthy food.

181 total lenders , 18 first-time lenders invited by Doniga , 3 invited by Trustee
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San Francisco, CA
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Oakland, CA
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San Francisco, CA
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North Hills, CA
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Prince George's County, MD
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Washington, DC, DC
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Morrisville, NC
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Chicago Suburbs, IL
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San Jose, CA
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San Francisco, CA
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Los Angeles, CA
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Bremen, Germany
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Oakland Township, MI
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St. Thomas, VI
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San Francisco, CA
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San Jose, CA
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San Luis Obispo, CA
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Saratoga, CA
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Marin, CA
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Kutztown, PA
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Fairfax, VA
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Switzerland
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St. Michael, MN
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Little Rock/Pulaski, AR
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Woodland Hills, CA
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United Kingdom
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Cupertino, CA
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Mansfield, TX
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Greater London, United Kingdom
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Westlake, OH
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Taiwan
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Oslo, Norway
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Chicago, IL
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Mannheim, Germany
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Gdansk, Poland
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SF Bay Area, CA
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NJ
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Colorado Springs, CO
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Dallas, TX
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Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia
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Nashville, TN
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Dayton , OH
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Riverbank/Stanislaus, CA
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MA
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Denver, CO
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Los Angeles, CA
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Boerne, TX
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San Francisco
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Seattle, WA
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Yardley, PA
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WA
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Sarasota, FL
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Goshen, IN
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Seattle, WA
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MD
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San Diego, CA
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Santa Fe, NM
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IL
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Reidsville, NC
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Cape Coral, FL
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San Francisco, CA
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New York, NY
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Clarksburg, MD
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Santa Barbara , CA
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Budapest, Hungary
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Madison
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San Diego, CA
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Florence, AL
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Lanaudière, Canada
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Missouri City, TX
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San Francisco Bay Area, CA
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Cornwall, Canada
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Laguna Hills, CA
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Greensboro, NC
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Sebastopol
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Borehamwood, United Kingdom
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Philadelphia, PA
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Netherlands
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Austria
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Madrid, Spain
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San Joaquin
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ENDED

A loan of $5,000 helps me to Purchase equipment that will improve efficiency with the transportation of livestock and meat to local consumers and cut fuel use in half.

Disbursed Feb 20, 2014
Repayment Term:
24 monthly payments
Grace Period:
3 months
Listed:
Jan 24, 2014
Disbursed:
Feb 20, 2014
Paying Back:
Feb 21, 2014
Ended:
May 27, 2015

About Markegard Family Grass-Fed LLC

Industry:
Agriculture
Years in Operation:
More than 5 years
Website:
markegardfamily.com
Follow:
Facebook
Badges:
Badge repayment gold smallBadge 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, educational ranch
Tier:
First Tier trustee
Location:
Pescadero, CA
On Zip Since:
Jan 24, 2014
(16 months)
Loans Endorsed:
1
Total Value:
$5,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
0
Paying Back Late:
0
Repaid in Full:
Not enough data
Defaulted:
Not enough data
Repayment Rate:
Not enough data
Why are you endorsing Doniga?

Doniga and her family run a successful business that cares for the land, the animals, the habitat, and the ranching community - all while creating a great and natural product for customers and sharing what they do with others.

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.