AMES, Iowa – KoiGreen Produce and Pond Supplies, located in Ogden, Iowa, is a unique business that uses the water from their ponds stocked with koi fish to water the produce they grow and sell.
KoiGreen was able to start its business and purchase many necessary items for its pond thanks to an USDA Farm Service Agency microloan. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Value Added Agriculture Program works with farmers to provide information and education about financial assistance available through FSA programs.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do all of this without a loan,” said Majorie Hunt, co-owner of KoiGreen Produce and Pond Supplies. “This turned into a passion we never knew we had.”
FSA has a number of loan options, one being microloans, which focus on financing small, or beginning farmers, niche and non-traditional farm operations. Two types of microloans are available: direct farm ownership and direct farm operating, which can provide up to $50,000 of capital.
The Value Added Agriculture Program has acquired a grant that will help producers prepare presentations, compile information regarding their challenges and illustrate how local FSA staff can provide individualized technical assistance.
“The Value Added Agriculture Program has developed strong relationships with producers in targeted audiences and has staff serving in leadership roles with networks of agricultural producer groups,” said Marsha Laux, value added agriculture program coordinator.
Photo by Kendra Meyer