Today, get an extra $25 to lend when you make your first Kiva loan.
Total loan: $6,000
Coburn, PA, United States / Agriculture
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Tess's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!
A loan helped purchase a harvester that will allow Commonwealth Hops to service small to mid-sized farms throughout Pennsylvania and its bordering states.
Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, on a small hobby farm, my childhood was idyllic. I had inspiring parents, who prioritized my education and encourage me to enroll at Penn State, where I studied agronomy. Despite growing up on a farm, it was during college that I became exposed to the immense network of food systems. I realized how important our local producers are in restoring community and providing healthy food to all of us. Upon graduating, I knew I had to do something different. I had always had an affinity for craft beer and began experimenting with hops. My first thirty plants were grown in my parents' backyard, with my dad begrudgingly digging holes for the trellis and my mother blissfully weeding. I dreamt of acres and acres of hop production and a new kind of family farm, but many told me it wasn’t possible. I knew that to bring a marketable crop back to an area where it hasn’t been grown in generations it would take a community, and fortunately I had found that in central PA. So when my parents told me, “You have to stop talking about it and just do it,” I made my first investment, rented an acre of land, and planted 400 plants. Now, three years later, I work as a certifier for organic farms and am the proud owner of Happy Valley Hop Yard. I am fortunate to have found a community where I am supported in my business endeavors of bringing local beer ingredients to PA’s craft breweries. However, the growth of my business has been limited by one particular challenge, which has led to the founding of my second business, Commonwealth Hops.