$295,000 investment supports local food system and future farmers
PORTLAND, ORE. – Grange halls were historically gathering places for rural folk to meet, support one another in times of need and celebrate the bounty of the land. With this guiding vision, Portland-based Zenger Farm set out to build an Urban Grange for healthy food and community connection, right in the city.
“The construction of the Urban Grange is Zenger Farm’s largest barn raising effort to date,” explained Mike Wenrick, Zenger Farm’s executive director. “We rely on the generosity of supporters to launch campaigns such as this one, which will increase our capacity to provide healthy food access to those most in need and to teach youth and adults the importance of healthy food, farms, the environment, and communities.
Although the farm received several large gifts in support of the grange, many are pledges to be paid out over multiple years. Expenses on the other hand, are due upon project completion.
“As a nonprofit organization, it is challenging to secure conventional bank financing for projects such as this one; we knew it would take some creative thinking - and a village - to realize this dream,” he added. “That’s where the Craft3 loan comes in. It provides us with a low-interest option to pay our expenses as they come, while we await the arrival of pledged funds.”
Craft3 provided Zenger Farm with a loan to complete Urban Grange construction, helping to bridge multi-year private grants. In addition to the loan, Craft3 provided a grant to Zenger Farm to help cover loan closing costs.
“The grange is a wonderful investment in our food system and future farmers,” noted Brad Hunter, Craft3’s senior loan officer. “We are pleased Craft3 was able to provide the final piece of financing.”
Support for this loan and grant was provided by Meyer Memorial Trust and helps grow the capacity of conservation organizations in Oregon and SW Washington.
"The Urban Grange at Zenger Farm connects land stewardship, conservation and the engagement of diverse and immigrant farmers in the heart of Oregon's largest city," said Doug Stamm, chief executive officer at Meyer Memorial Trust. "Oregon’s working lands are a major part of the state's history and key element of its future. Meyer Memorial Trust and Craft3 created the Conservation Bridge Fund to support projects that strengthen the working heritage of Oregon’s landscapes.”
“Simply put, without Craft3’s support, we wouldn’t be able to complete construction of the Urban Grange,” Mike shared. “The loan is an integral part of this project and we are grateful for Craft3’s partnership!”
Check out Zenger Farm at its Urban Grange Open House this Saturday from 2 to 4 pm. At this family friendly event, meet the Zenger Farm team, tour the Urban Grange and farm and watch a cooking demonstration.