Total loan: $8,000
Ronan, MT, United States / Agriculture
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A loan helped our farm business grow by purchasing a high tunnel to grow more high demand vegetables, to extend our growing season, and to produce more regionally-adapted seed.
Since Brianna and Zach met as students at University of Montana’s PEAS Farm nine springs ago, they have been working toward their dream of running their own farm together. We enjoy working outside and working together and, most of all, eating and sharing good food. Brianna grew up in Florida, a 4Her member raising hogs to show and sell at the county fair, but it was not until she taught 4th grade after college and saw how a lunchroom salad bar with local veggies could change kids’ eating habits that she realized she wanted to be a farmer. These days, in addition to farming and being a mom, she is a program manager at a nonprofit developing food and agriculture cooperatives and Farm to Institution programs. Zach grew up outside St. Louis and studied architecture in college, which led him to green and sustainable building approaches. That environmental awareness became an interest in sustainable agriculture, and he moved to Montana ten years ago to farm. After working on well-established farms throughout western Montana and studying sustainable agriculture systems at the University of Montana, he is applying his broad range of skills (from carpentry to mechanics) to farming (and fathering) full-time. This will be our third season farming in this location, and we are working to improve the farm operation each year. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to run our own farm and raise our son in a beautiful place with plenty of good food. Right now, we are building out the infrastructure for the farm and expanding our production and markets. Along our farming journey, we have also become passionate about growing and saving regionally-adapted seeds. We dream about the farm as a community gathering place and hope to soon bring kids here to learn about food.