Total loan: $3,000
Polson, MT, United States / Agriculture
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A loan helped purchase a key piece of equipment for our start up ice pop business.
My name is Karl Sutton and I co-own Fresh Roots Farm with my wife Darci Jones. I am a former high school teacher and wilderness guide. Prior to farming, I worked as a cooperative business specialist and coordinated food system development projects. I came to farming later in life. I originally studied English Literature as an undergraduate at the University of Montana. After completing my Bachelor’s degree I gravitated towards rock climbing and the guiding lifestyle. For a better part of ten years I worked as a wilderness guide in programs for at-risk youth and with the National Outdoor Leadership School and Outward Bound. When I wasn’t working in the woods, I could be found climbing vertical rock faces across the west. Rock climbing and leading wilderness trips in many ways prepared me for the rigors of farming. Climbing big walls and leading month long wilderness trips requires preparation, perseverance, adaptability and a willingness to take risks. Farming requires a similar dedication to preparation and adaptability. As farmers we are faced with environmental risks. As a climber these environmental risks may be life or death. As a farmer these environmental risks may result in financial gain or loss. I believe I was drawn to farming because of my desire for adventure and the mental and physical challenge of making it through a farming season. I attempted to work in office environments writing and managing grants. I also attempted to work in classroom environments teaching high school students. While these occupations were rewarding I continually had a longing for adventure. Farming has filled that need for far off adventures. Flare Pops is an outgrowth of my desire to push the farm business further into new terrain. As Ralph Waldo Emerson penned, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”