Total loan: $10,000
Kerhonkson, NY, United States / Food
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A loan helped us grow our solar powered production capacity by extending our rooftop solar array.
I grew up on a grain farm in western Minnesota during the 80s and 90s. I was never encouraged to take over the family farm. It had been in our family for over 120 years and I didn’t take the implications of that lightly. Still I didn't have much interest in running a grain farm deep in the heart of the plains. So I took off for college in NY. A few years into it I began playing around with the idea of a popcorn business called BjornQorn. I had a great recipe already and was surrounded by many good friends and supportive people including my future business partner Jamie. It occurred to me that a popcorn business could reconnect me to my family's land in a way that felt fresh and inspiring. I asked my father if he would consider trying out a couple acres of popcorn on the family land. He tentatively agreed - it doesn't take much deviation in Minnesota to seem extreme so planting popcorn was a real step into the unknown! Needless to say it worked great and we have planted more and more acres each year. Being an entrepreneur is natural for me. The process is exactly the way my dad ran his farm as seen by a boy watching from the sandbox. You do what you need to do when it needs to be done. I run this business in NY far from my family farm, but I get to coordinate the planting, harvest and solve problems with my father regularly. Its an outcome neither of us were expecting. I hope to continue utilizing the family land for the popcorn business. We have about 9 acres planted this year and perhaps someday we could grow to use an entire 30 acre section.