Total loan: $8,000
Missoula, MT, United States / Agriculture
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A loan helped me purchase a walk-behind tractor; small enough to transport between the two farm spaces I manage in my urban agriculture operation and powerful enough to do all the work of a riding tractor.
I started out my farming career in unlikely fashion: planning jazz shows at an arts center in D.C. Yes, it sounded good late night, but it still meant most of my work took place at a computer and my commute involved 2 hours and four modes of transport (train, bus, foot, and car). Oddly enough, planning jazz shows gave me many of the skills needed to succeed in agriculture. My time working in the arts equipped me with the ability to plan out and incrementally achieve long-term goals; to be attentive to the dual needs of an audience (customers) and artists (the goods); and a willingness to work in dim light, which now comes in handy when I am hastily laying down row cover the night before a frost. I moved to Montana seeking mountains, air, and long days. To begin my career in agriculture, I interned on sustainable local farms. Quickly, I found the sun suited me better than computer light and that my appreciation of a well-planned schedule was more satisfying when the results were baskets full of beautiful produce rather than a smooth-running show. While completing my MS in Environmental Studies, I had the opportunity to study the regional food system. During graduate school, I kept my hands in the dirt as the Caretaker for a local nonprofit farm and started Black Bear Soups & Produce upon finishing my degree. Now with seven farm seasons behind me, I am proud to be a contributor to a resilient regional food system and I hope you will support my efforts by becoming a funder for my Kiva loan.