Total loan: $10,000


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Redwood Valley, CA, United States / Agriculture

Paula's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped purchase sheep and goats to expand our farm's grazing operation.

Paula's story

Growing up in the rural-suburban edge of Frederick, Maryland, I was surrounded by farmland but didn't have a notion about farming. To me, food was just fuel for the body so you could get through the day, and I was just lucky to play in a big yard as a kid. In college in beautiful Northern California, I struggled to find a passion that I could shape into a career. After I acquired my economics degree, I found myself working in the conservation economics program of a national environmental conservation group. I had always enjoyed being in nature, and working there felt good. It was there that I learned about the ills of industrial agriculture and the beauty of sustainable farming. Around that time, I was diagnosed with an immune system disorder that debilitated me for almost a year. I needed a change from the office work, and I wanted to learn about ecological agriculture and how to grow food. So, I worked on organic farms for a couple years, and decided, if our country needs more farmers to farm sustainably, then instead of going back to school to be a policy wonk, I should farm. After finding land and a community to support our farm in Mendocino County, my husband and I have evolved our farm over the years, and we now have two young children. I don't expect my children to want to farm, too, but I wish for them to have a healthy upbringing, with an intimate relationship with their food. We hope our community continues to value the farms and ranches that shape our landscape and have a deeper relationship with their food and the land, too.