International Women’s Day

IWD falls on March 8th and this year it was extra special for many reasons. Many national events dovetailed on the Women’s March in January. In Pat’s little world, it was so cool because I got to be part of a $3 million match day on the Kiva Website.

It meant that since I am the Kiva Advocate, boots on the ground girl, in Maine New Hampshire and Vermont, I got to shepherd 3 awesome women farmers to get their 0% Kiva loan fully funded on that day. Besides my 3 awesome ladies, KIVA USA fully funded 48 other entrepreneurs.

And, here are our awesome Maine farmers that made my heart sing on March 8th:

“Heidi and Greg fully funded in less that 15 hours for a $10,000/36 mo. loan. They had 170 lenders from across the globe. The loan is assisting them to purchase equipment to launch their charcuterie enterprise: a Salami Dry Curing Cabinet.”

“At Toddy Pond Farm, we believe farming should be a partnership with the land, mother nature, and the animals we share our farm with.Our mission is to create a farming system in which all parts complement each other, and to connect people with food that nourishes the body and soul while being grown and raised in the most humane and sustainable way that we know how.

Johanna and Jarret – Moodytown Gardens farm. A loan of $10,000 helped purchase a new delivery van. Both Jarret and Johanna grew up farming. Jarret’s father raised sheep and used the wool to knit socks. He had a wool sock business for 15 years. Johanna’s parents raised food to cut down on the grocery bill for their family of seven.They were funded by 191 lenders.

Johanna left Maine for college and was sure she wanted to pursue a life that was very different from how she grew up. However, it took only a year before she realized her true calling was growing food. She studied abroad for a semester in New Zealand at one of the country’s oldest agriculture universities. When she returned to the States, she transferred to Sterling College in Vermont, where she received her Bachelors in Sustainable Agriculture in 2008. From there she spent a few years traveling the country and working on different farm operations.

Cristelle & Jon -Cooper Tail Farm (Waldoboro, ME.)

A loan of $10,000 helped Christelle and Jon expand their current creamery so they can start making cheese (and other products) to diversify and grow their business. They were supported by 186 lenders.

In 2014 they moved 28 chickens,      8 goats, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a chameleon cross country from Oregon where they were farmhands to Maine. In 2016, they bought a farm.

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