100%

funded

Total loan: $6,000

Brandon

Flag of United States
Chester, NY, United States / Agriculture

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A loan helped me to fund equipment needs and marketing materials for a new agribusiness focused on sustainability.


Brandon's story

Born and raised in the lower Hudson Valley of New York, I am proud to be a part of an area involved with family vegetable markets, generational dairy farms, and iconic apple orchards. Coming from a household that was ecologically conscious and nutritionally engaged, I was always aware of two important human factors: the connection to the environment we live in and the connection to the food we eat. Over the years, this has helped shape my love of the outdoors, my passion for food, and my service to the community. After graduating high school in 2013 and attending culinary school for a short time, I had the chance to work in the New York City restaurant industry. It was during that time where I was able to experience an abundance of wonderful people, interesting places, and delicious plates. While I enjoyed building up my profile to a manager of multiple cafés, I realized I had never truly made the outlying connection between the environment we live in and the food we eat. I felt a detachment in understanding where our food source comes from and how it is grown. That's when I decided to leave the service scene behind, and go back to my Hudson Valley roots to pursue an apprenticeship in agriculture. Upon discovering a farm owned by a NYC restaurant group, 30 miles from where I was raised, I completed a two-year apprenticeship with a highly knowledgeable farmer. It was my goal to learn how to cultivate vegetables using organic methods and responsibly steward the land to preserve natural resources, while still communicating with people through food. After learning how to farm vegetables on a diversified 15-acre farm, I discovered that my career passion was in agriculture all along. Starting my own farm business combines my existing love of the outdoors and food, with my newfound passions of sustainable farming and community food access. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity for Kiva and lenders to help start my business and support my community efforts!