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From crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to more traditional CSA models, you can find funding sources that work for your business. The NMFMA has partnered with the Permaculture Guild and Sandia Area Federal Credit Union to provide low-interest micro-loans to small-scale farmers who sell at New Mexico farmers' markets.
Read on for more information about funding opportunities:
This grant is available to farmers for up to $3,000. The grant application is due March 15th.
The farmer grants have two specific purposes, and your grant proposal must meet one of them:
To expand specialty crop varieties and/or crop volume sold through wholesale channels to New Mexico retail outlets;
To pilot or expand regenerative agriculture practices.
Applying for grants less than $3,000 is fine, but each grant must be met with a 50% cost-share (“match”) by the farmer.
The New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association (NMFMA) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support farmers and producers who grow and sell food at farmers' markets and other local and direct marketing venues in New Mexico.
With donations received, the NMFMA maintains an account at the Sandia Area Federal Credit Union (SAFCU) with funds to be used as collateral for small loans to New Mexico farmers. This enables the loans to be offered at a low interest rate and as the loans are repaid, the funds can be reused to secure new loans. It is reuse and recycling at its best!
Loan amounts available: $500 to $2,500
Terms: 40 months, fixed interest rate of 6% (check with NMFMA for most current rate) There is no penalty for early repayment.
To qualify for a loan, applicants must comply with each of the following requirements:
Only members of the NMFMA are eligible to apply. Join the NMFMA here.
Submit an NMFMA Pre-qualification Letter (PDF: view guidelines). Applicants may also call the NMFMA at (505) 983-4010, to request an application form by mail or fax.
Must be a SFACU member by establishing an account at SFACU with a $50.00 balance, and upon pre-qualification approval, fill out a basic one-page NMFMA Loan Application.
Must be a food producer or food vendor (for at least one year) at an NMFMA member market. If you are a New Mexico food producer, food vendor, or are affiliated with local food who does not sell at an NMFMA member market, please contact us and we may be able to help.
We may request an exit interview at the end of the payment period.
La Montanita's LaM Fund
The La Montanita (LaM) Fund is a member-funded micro-lending program designed to grow the local food system and strengthen the local economy. Members can purchase interests in the LaM Fund. Proceeds from the sale of the interests in this offering are deposited in an account with New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union for use as collateral for loans made by NMEFCU to local producers and based on the recommendations of the LaM Fund Loan Advisory Committee. The loans are administered by NMEFCU. These loans work well in conjunction with the NRCS's EQIP grants.
Santa Fe Farmers' Market Institute Micro-Loans
Any current Santa Fe Farmers' Market vendor may apply for a loan of $250-$5000 and on a case-by-case basis up to $10,000 at 6% interest from the Institute, which is administered by the Permaculture Credit Union.
Crowd-funded interest-free loans of up to $5,000 for new borrowers, with a payback period anywhere form 10-24 months. You must run a campaign by posting your project on their website and sharing with your community or through social media.