A loan of $5,000 helped invest in a breeding flock of hair sheep, a hoophouse to generate profit we can leverage to continue growing the farm, and a livestock guardian dog who will lower our predation rates and therefore increase our profits.


Erica's story

I grew up in rural central New York, and spent most of my childhood outdoors climbing trees, catching crayfish in the creek near our home, picking apples and stacking firewood. In college I studied ecology and developed a passion for farming. I managed the student farm at Cornell University in its third season, and have had a farm in my life every year since that summer 15 years ago.

After college I spent 5 years in the Pacific Northwest where I worked in the very early stages of two different non-profit educational farms, helping to design programs and raise funding to bring them to the next level of development. But I wanted to spend more time working the fields than working on my computer, so I spent a year on the most well-established permaculture homestead in the US, the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead, on Orcas Island, WA.

While there I also completed a certification as an educator of Holistic Management. HM offers a framework and tools for making ecologically, financially, and socially sound decisions in the face of complexity. Its practitioners are worldwide, and its roots are in sustainable land management. That training combined with my experience on the Bullocks farm shaped my vision for my life: running a profitable farm business that produces an abundance of good food grown with production practices inspired by nature.



Loan details


About Shelterbelt Farm

Industry: Agriculture
Years in operation: 3 years - 5 years
Website: shelterbeltfarm.com

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Loan details