The Carrot Project and Salisbury Bank are pleased to announce another loan made through the Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund to Chaseholm Farm in Pine Plains, New York. Sarah Lyons Chase began milking on her family’s farm back in March when she assumed operational management of the dairy farm that has been in her family for three generations. With continued family support and guidance, Sarah wishes to use the funds from the loan to repurpose a garage on the farm and make it a farm store where she can sell raw milk, cheeses and other products as her business grows and can partner with other local growers.
“Sarah is transitioning her family’s conventional dairy to a grass-based operation. Among the younger farmers The Carrot Project serves, we observe a commitment to sustainable practices beneficial for human, water and soil health in the local community. Chaseholm is a shining local example of a triple bottom line business, measuring itself by its social, environmental and financial impact,” explains Benneth Phelps, Loan and Outreach Coordinator at The Carrot Project.
“Salisbury Bank is pleased to assist Sarah with her plans to continue her family’s tradition of dairy farming, as well as implementing her new business initiatives,” said Dick Kelly, Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer. “This was a great opportunity to work with the Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund again by financing another deserving, local farm.”
Chaseholm Farm will be offering high quality milk for both fluid consumption and cheese production.
Sarah believes in a sustainable farming future and wants to be a part of healthy land stewardship. Beginning this venture is exceptionally meaningful for her to be on the land her family has farmed for generations in a town they have lived in for generations more. Sarah wants the Chaseholm Farm to be an efficient farm business that can help create a healthier community and provide for her community’s needs from within.
In 2012, the Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund and Salisbury Bank announced a loan fund to assist farms, and farm-related businesses, obtain financing which otherwise would be unavailable. Eligible businesses may apply for loans in amounts of up to $75,000 to help farmers and other food system enterprises such as local food processors and distributors finance capital investments and meet operating costs.
The Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund is designed to help meet the growing demand for local food. Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund (GBAF) loans can be used for working capital, capital needs such as equipment or buildings, operations, or other improvements for production or value-added enterprises.
The Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund serves businesses located in the four-county region that includes Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Litchfield County, Connecticut and Columbia and Dutchess County, New York.
The Carrot Project (www.thecarrotproject.org) partners with farmers, lenders, investors and agricultural service providers to further small scale agriculture. In the Northeast, The Carrot Project administers four regional loan funds in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and the Greater Berkshires, and provides business and financial planning assistance to food producers and processors. Across the U.S. The Carrot Project collaborates on research and innovative thinking that contributes to a diverse and strong farm sector and food system.
The Carrot Project works at the forefront of change by helping to create a sustainable local farm and food economy. The project makes long-term investments in the building blocks — farmers and food system businesses — and helps them succeed in order to provide healthful food for consumers, replenish the environment, and contribute to regional and local economies.
For more information about the program, email Benneth Phelps at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413.650.6151.
Salisbury Bank is a full-service community bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut and presently operates full service branches in Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut, South Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts as well as Dover Plains and Millerton, New York. The Bank has been serving families and businesses for over 160 years and offers a full range of consumer and business banking products and services as well as trust and investment services.
Photo Caption: Sarah Lyons Chase, Chaseholm Farm; Benneth Phelps, The Carrot Project; and Adam Higgins, Salisbury Bank.