Project Summary

SOAR Small Production Loan Fund
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation

What is the SOAR Small Production Loan Fund?

garden1The SOAR Small Production Loan Fund is a low-interest financing resource designed to assist small producers grow healthy, nutrional foods so that they can move into commercial production.  The goal is to support and educate growers to develop a strong local food system in eastern and southern Kentucky that will be market-supported and result in a profit for the growers. 

A key feature of the SOAR Smalll Production Loan Fundis the participation of Grow Appalachia.  The organization will meet with participants where they live and address their specific needs as gardeners and food producers.  Grow Appalachia works with non-profit organizations in each of the counties so that there is always a local resource.  Each Grow Appalachia participant chooses from classes offered by their partner sites throughout the year on topic such as garden planning, planting and maintenance, healthy-heart cooking and up-to-date food processing and preservation techniques.  Grow Appalachia also has excellent contacts to help growers market their products. 

Almost all food-related producers are eligible to participate in the program, including fruit and vegetable growers, beekeepers, gardeners of herbs, markets who want to grow their own products and many more. If you are not sure, be sure to contact us. 

How does the SOAR Production Loan Fund Work?

  • Almost all food-related producers, such as fruit and vegetable growers, beekeepers and gardeners of herbs, are eligible to participate in the program.
  • The maximum loan amount is $7,500 with a fixed interest rate of 1 percent and no closing fees. Typically, the terms of the loan will be four years.  
  •  Interest-only payments are due the first year of the loan.  After the first year, the loan begins to amortize.
  • KHIC will provide the financing and Grow Appalachia will provide the installation and technical support as needed and feasible.
  • For growers moving into commercial production, Grow Appalachia has developed a Small Production Package, which can include a high tunnel greenhouse, woven ground cover that is reusable, T-posts, a drip irrigation system, a walk-behind tractor, hand tools, wheel hose and a hydro-cool station for cold storage, as needed.
  • Business training also will be available through a free, five-session business training course on starting and running your own business.
  • In addition, many growers in the region haven’t had access to affordable banking services or have had difficult credit issues. The fund has formed a partnership with Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union to provide financial literacy training, credit repair counseling and full-banking services.  

garden2Growers who are interested in learning more can contact  Michael Hayes (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Edgar Davis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with KHIC by e-mail or at 606-864-5175, or contact David Cooke (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with Grow Appalachia at 859-985-3941.  The best contact method is usually by e-mail.  

What can the Fund be used for?

The focus of the SOAR Small Production Loan Fund is helping growers produce healthy foods and turning this production in a commercial venture.  Growers can work with farmer's markets, distributors, retails stores, roadside stands, private sales,internet sales or any other avenue to sell their products.

Loan funds can be in almost any manner to help further the grower's venture.  Examples include production equipment, Grow Appalachia hoop houses, farmer market or roadside stands, seed and fertilizer, coolers and processing equipment and many other items needed for production.  If you have any questions, just contact us.   

What are the terms of the SOAR Fund loan?

Loans up to $7,500

Interest rate fixed at 1%

Interest-only is available for the first year of the loan

Loan term up to 4-years

Loans will be collateralized with assets financed 

Project Area

All growers in the entire 54-county SOAR service region are eligible for financing through the SOAR Small Production Loan Fund. Any grower within the SOAR area that wishes to participate in the project is eligible at any time. 

While any SOAR-area grower is eligible, the initial focus of this project is where KHIC and Grow Appalachia already have an presence in the agricultural community.  These counties include:

Bell Breathitt Clay Clinton
Estill Floyd Harlan Jackson
Laurel Lee Leslie Letcher
Knott Knox Madison McCreary
Menifee Morgan Owsley Perry
Pulaski Rockcastle Rowan Wayne
Whitley

The SOAR Small Production Loan Fund is a low-interest financing resource designed to assist small producers grow healthy, nutritional foods so that they can move into commercial production. The goal is to support and educate growers to develop a strong local food system in eastern and southern Kentucky that will be market-supported and result in a profit for the growers.

growart

Contact Information 606-864-5175 Email Us
Additional Contact 859-985-3941 Email Us