Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund), Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), and Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) committed to recovery of local farmers and sustainable, healthy food systems
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Natural Capital Investment Fund
(NCIFund) has launched the RESEED Recovery Fund, a $250,000 program that will provide low-interest, easily accessible loans to North Carolina and South Carolina farmers and value-added producers who sustained damages from Hurricanes Florence or Michael.
RESEED loans may be used for a variety of purposes, including replacing livestock and damaged plants, repairing infrastructure and equipment, improving or expanding operations that increase the farm’s viability, and serving as bridge loans for future insurance payments or grants.
Loans will range from $2,500 to $10,000 and will be offered at 1% interest with a maximum term of one year. Hurricane-impacted farmers with documented sales of greater than $5,000 in 2017 or 2018 are eligible to apply. Further details about eligibility and the application for RESEED loans are available on NCIFund’s website: httpss://www.ncifund.org/what-we-do/strategic-initiatives/reseed-recovery-fund
NCIFund is partnering with Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) and Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) and a range of public, non-profit, and private sector entities to reach farmers across the Carolinas. Support and technical assistance from these partners, as well as a generous grant from Wells Fargo to NCIFund, are critical to the RESEED effort.
“NCIFund and its partners in the RESEED effort are committed to developing and maintaining sustainable, healthy food systems. Limited resource and socially disadvantaged farmers are particularly vulnerable to disasters like Florence and Michael, since they have less crop insurance coverage and fewer resources to help them bounce back,” detailed Rick Larson, Senior Vice President of NCIFund. “Affordable loans, paired with the support and counseling that CFSA and RAFI-USA will provide, are critical to helping farmers not only replace what they’ve lost, but also pursue new approaches that will make their operations more resilient over time.”
Through a donation from Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (SFNTC), CFSA will provide guarantees for RESEED loans to sustainable producers and will support RAFI-USA in providing financial counseling to farmers to help assess financial viability and disaster recovery options.
“The contributions small and mid-scale sustainable farms make to their communities — enhanced soil and water quality, biodiversity, healthy food, economic growth — are vital,” noted CFSA Executive Director Roland McReynolds. “When one of these farms is lost, it has long-lasting negative effects,” McReynolds said. “CFSA is pleased to be part of this partnership to address the urgent need for quick, low cost financing to help these kinds of farms overcome this year’s hurricane disasters.”
“Our goal is that in participating in this important program, farm families receive both the capital that they need to get their farms back up and running, and assistance in thinking through the difficult decisions that farmers face after hurricanes as severe as Florence or Michael,” added RAFI-USA Senior Policy Specialist Scott Marlow. “We are grateful to NCIFund and CFSA for allowing us to be a part of this effort.”
“Wells Fargo is committed to supporting the recovery of the areas and industries throughout the Carolinas that were hardest hit by Hurricane Florence and Michael. That is why we are proud to donate $100,000 to NCIFund to support its RESEED loans that will help farmers rebuild their businesses,” added Joanna LeClair, Senior Vice President, Community Development Manager for Wells Fargo. “We recognize the importance of agriculture and local farms to a thriving and productive economy and are honored to help these entrepreneurs rebuild, recover and achieve long-term success.”
About Natural Capital Investment Fund
Natural Capital Investment Fund supports entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and triple-bottom-line businesses in underserved communities in Central Appalachia and the Southeast. NCIFund is a business loan fund with expertise in agriculture, eco-tourism, alternative energy, forest products and community facilities. Founded in 2001, NCIFund is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) affiliated with The Conservation Fund. www.ncifund.org
About Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is a member-based, farmer-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic agriculture. Based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, CFSA was founded in 1979, and is the oldest organic farming organization in the Southeast. httpss://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/
About the Rural Advancement Foundation International
The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA’s mission is to cultivate markets, policies and communities that sustain thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. RAFI-USA works nationally and internationally, focusing on North Carolina and the southeastern United States. RAFI-USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina and incorporated in 1990. httpss://rafiusa.org
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,950 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 37 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories
Rick Larson, Natural Capital Investment Fund, 919-949-4724 firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Wuestewald, The Conservation Fund, 703-908-5813, email@example.com