Micro-Loans

Micro-Loans

In an effort to support the local food system and increase the availability of local products, the Chequamegon Food Co-op offers biannual, no interest micro-loans.  Since 2008, we have awarded over $225,600 in micro-loans to qualified local food & goods producers. These small, no interest loans are capped at $5,000 and have up to a 3-year payback period.

Interested in Applying?

Proposals for the spring cycle are due by March 1, 2022 with funding decisions made by March 15. Proposals for the fall cycle are due by Friday October 1, 2022 with funding decisions made by October 20.  Download the micro-loan application.

We encourage pairing the micro-loan with our Chip in for the Kitchen grant fund. The grant program offers matching 50/50 funds to help local producers gain access to commercial kitchens. The goal of the grant is to help fill holes in our local foods system. We have so many wonderful local farmers and producers, but there are still many items that cannot be bought locally.

To learn more about the Chequamegon Food Co-op micro-loan program, please contact Sara Beadle, Marketing & Member Services Manager.

Read About our Fall 2021 Recipients

Five local producers received micro-loans totaling $15,200 from the Chequamegon Food Co-op to help with farm projects through the winter and into spring. Micro-loan recipients for the Fall 2021 loan cycle are as follows:

  • Owners Rusty and Daisy Defoe of Birds N’ Things farm in Ashland, WI will be purchasing equipment to help create value added goods with their family farm raised products. They would like to start roasting peppers and tomatoes, and drying herbs.
  • Monarda Thrasher of Bayfield WI has been drying herbs for over 10 seasons and will be building a mobile herb drying shed. This will allow Monarda to scale up the project and will be able to dry up to 1000 pounds of herbs.
  • Owner Ben Cogger of Observation Hill Farm in Duluth, MN will be purchasing a front-end loader for their farm tractor. This will allow ease in moving soiling, transporting heavy equipment, clearing snow, and more. Find their honey at the co-op!
  • Owner Erica Macrum of Seeds of Wellbeing in Washburn, WI will be purchasing a tincture press that will enable her to be more efficient by extracting up to 40% more from her herbs. This will also create less waste while making her wellness products which you can find at the co-op!
  • Owner Jerry Moore of One Drum Solutions in Ashland, WI will be purchasing a solar well pump, battery banks, and filtration system. These will be used for revitalizing and irrigating an herb garden. This system will also increase the health of their pond by providing oxygen and circulation.

Read About our Spring 2021 Recipients

Four local producers will receive micro-loans totaling $13,070 from the Chequamegon Food Co-op to help with farm projects this summer. Micro-loan recipients for the Spring 2021 loan cycle are as follows:

  • Owner Stan Ford of Two Creeks Farm in Marengo, Wis. will purchase a three-point round bale unroller to better utilize left-over hay.
  • Owners Carly and Tyler Stephenson of Will O’ the Winds Farm in Washburn, Wis. will build a pole shed to increase the production and grow from seasonally raising feeder pigs on pasture to breeding and raising pigs year-round.  
  • Owner Eileen McCutchen of Angel Acres Farm in Mason, Wis. will purchase local certified organic hay.
  • Owner Ryan Padrutt of ThroughDirt Farm in Washburn, Wis. will be purchase materials to build deer-proof fencing.

Read About our Fall 2020 Recipients

The fall micro-loans totaled $12,700. These three local producers are excited to expand their businesses with the support of the co-op.

  • Sonia and Adam Horowitz, owners of Amanita Acres will be renovating their fiber studio and improving their wool processing equipment. This will allow more efficiency to process and produce their products. The farm raises Icelandic sheep, angora goats, and angora rabbits for wool. The Horowitzs sell their products at farmers markets, events, and online.
  • Jonathan Walburg is a potter from Washburn, WI who plans to build a small studio that will house a wood fired kiln at his home along Highway 13. He plans to eventually have a destination where people can see where pots are made, experience the fire, and take a piece of this area home. Jonathan focuses uses beach sand from Lake Superior to decorate his functional pottery.
  • Clare Hintz, owner of Elsewhere Farm in Herbster, WI will be using her loan to purchase a high-tunnel in order to extend growing season on the farm. Clare’s produce goes to her year-round CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box that supplies up to 30 families with food during the summer, and 13 families during winter.

Read About our Spring 2020 Recipients

Three local producers will receive micro-loans totaling $13,520 from the Chequamegon Food Co-op to help with farm projects this summer. These small, no-interest loans are capped at $5,000 and have a 3-year payback period. Micro-loan recipients for the Spring 2020 loan cycle are as follows:

  • Owner John Adams of Yoman Farm in Washburn, Wis. will put microloan funds toward a 30-acre purchase and a hydraulic pump replacement for his Allis Chalmers tractor.  
  • Owners Brigid Reina and Jake Williams of Washburn, Wis. will use the funds for startup costs for their new ecological land restoration business, Regenerative Ruminants, where a small “flerd” of goats and sheep will be rented out to private and public landowners.
  • Owner Stan Ford of Two Creeks Farm in Marengo, Wis. will purchase organic fertilizers to enhance the PH in his soil in order to yield better hay crops for local beef farmers and also to diversify his crops with planting soft fruits. 

Read About our Fall 2019 Recipients

Fall 2019

Three local producers will receive micro-loans totaling $6,500 from the Chequamegon Food Co-op to help with local producer projects this winter. Micro-loan recipients for the fall 2019 loan cycle are as follows:

Spring 2019 Recipients

Spring 2019

Three local farmers will receive micro-loans totaling over $10,000 from the Chequamegon Food Co-op to help with farming related projects this spring. These small, no interest loans are capped at $5,000 and have a 3-year payback period. Micro-loan recipients in the spring 2019 loan cycle were as follows:

  • Owners Tom Galazen and Ann Rosenquist of North Wind Organic Farm in Bayfield, Wis. will purchase a battery for their solar-powered tractor.
  • Owner Gil Schwartz of Seasonally Sourced in Ashland, Wis. will purchase seed starting equipment, livestock, fencing, and tools.
  • Owner Eileen McCutchen of Angel Acres Farm in Mason, Wis. will purchase certified organic hay to feed beef, lamb, and sheep.