UMass Loan Shows How to Keep Them Down on the Farm
As the cold, hard freeze eventually makes its way to New England this winter, some members are already planting stakes in summer fruits like plums, strawberries and watermelon.
Thanks to a niche loan program, the $347 million UMassFive College Federal Credit Union in Hadley, Mass., is helping members who are strong advocates of supporting local farms.
“Here in western Massachusetts, it’s more rural and agricultural. But over the past 30 years, development has crowded into the area,” Reske said. “People are concerned about farms going away and where their food is coming from. If you have a chance to get good food, and your only roadblock is not having the money, we want to be able to help.”
In the Pioneer Valley, there are about 50 farms in a 10-mile radius that offer farm shares, Reske said. Nonprofit groups like CISA have been out front encouraging people to buy local food, he added.