Please join us for a comprehensive week of Growing Farmer workshops and guest speakers focusing on topics of farm viability. The arc of this series will provide beginning farmers with a tool kit of resources and tips for starting a farm. We’ll hear directly from experienced farmers, business consultants, loan officers, and land consultants in lecture format with time for Q&A. Explore the full curriculum here.
Loans and Grants to Build Farm Infrastructure
We’ll hear from Caroline Pam, co-owner of Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland MA. Caroline recently built a new wash pack barn and commercial processing kitchen on her 50 acre organic vegetable farm. This talk will cover the multi year planning and design process and how the farm accessed FSA and Farm Credit financing, as well as federal and state grants for the buildings, equipment, and a 25kW solar array.
Caroline Pam will be joined by Katie Bodzinski from USDA FSA, who will discuss federal financing options for land, infrastructure and operating expenses. Myra Marcellin from Farm Credit East will also join the discussion and share information about the Farm Start program that provides working capital to Northeast beginning farmers in the first three years of business.
All Farm Viability Series workshops will run from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm with a one hour lunch break from 12:30 – 1:30 pm.
Caroline grew up in New York City and earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago. She worked as a journalist before discovering her passion for food and farming. She studied French cuisine at the French Culinary Institute and has also worked as a market manager at the Union Square Greenmarket in NYC, where she shared her enthusiasm for cooking with seasonal ingredients in cooking demonstrations. She spent a summer working on an organic farm in Italy before moving to the Valley to apprentice at Food Bank Farm. She was the Valley Advocate’s restaurant critic from 2005-2006 and writes a monthly column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette and occasionally for Edible Pioneer Valley.
Katie Bodzinski is a Farm Loan Manager working with the USDA Farm Service Agency, providing Farm Loan service to Agricultural Producers across Massachusetts. As Farm Loan Manager, Katie works with a diverse set of Farmers from first year operators through retirement to assist them in navigating the government paperwork to obtain a FSA loan for purposes such as operating expenses, land purchases, as well as building necessary infrastructure.
Myra serves as a Vice President and Sr. Loan Officer at Farm Credit East, ACA, an agricultural lending cooperative headquartered in Enfield, CT. Farm Credit East offers a full range of highly competitive credit services to the Agricultural industry and is committed to serving customers through tough times as well as good times. Myra has worked at Farm Credit East for the past 24 years and has successful in advancing the organization’s mission by providing loans and financial solutions to help farm businesses grow in Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from SUNY Albany and a Master’s Degree in Communications and Information Management from BayPath University, Longmeadow, MA. Myra bring an array of knowledge and experience in the areas of credit and finance, marketing, relationship building and managing and maintaining profitable business relationships.