New $500K fund for Ohio sustainable agriculture

A new investment fund announced Thursday will make $500,000 available to grow opportunities for sustainable agriculture in Ohio.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has partnered with a group of local investors to launch the OEFFA Investment Fund. The fund is intended to promote sustainable agriculture in Ohio by making flexible and affordable capital available to OEFFA member farmers and farm-related businesses, officials said.

OEFFA officials hope to build the supply and availability of local, sustainably grown fresh food in Ohio; enhance farm-related business viability; and encourage expansion of ecological agricultural practices.

Additional funding is planned once the model is proven successful, officials said.

OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland said she expects most of the successful applications for business loans to be in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. During the first year, the minimum funded amount will be $2,500 and the maximum will be $250,000, she said.

The OEFFA Investment Fund is now accepting applications, with the first funding decisions expected in January. Additional information and application forms are available online at oeffa.org/invest.php.

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