Bertha Magaña was one of the first farmers to receive a loan through California FarmLink‘s loan program for her 7 acres of diverse organic vegetables in Prunedale. Along with the $10,000 loan, FarmLink provided technical assistance to help Ms. Magaña parlay her experience as a farmworker, dependable sales outlet in ALBA Organics (a produce distributor affiliated with the Agricultural and Land-Based Training Association), good credit, and outside source of income (from her husband’s job) to obtain financing and move forward with her farm business. Ms. Magaña exemplifies the underserved beginning farmers that FarmLink helps to overcome barriers to financing, such as low income, limited English, and lack of access to capital.
In the last 2 years, Ms. Magaña’s farm has done well. Her husband has been able to quit his job and join her on the farm. She repaid her original operating loan and received a larger operating loan in 2013 which she has also repaid. This fall she is working with FarmLink loan officer Brett Melone to obtain a $60,000 operating loan for 2014 and expand her business. FarmLink’s Central Coast regional coordinator, Eric Winders, is helping her lease additional acreage for the expansion. The long-term relationship we have built with Ms. Magaña illustrates the importance of one-on-one technical assistance for small farmers.
Have a success story of your own to share? Email us!