Monday, September 26, 2022

ANCA and Foodshed Capital Announce First Small Farm SOIL Loan

SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and Foodshed Capital have announced the first loan provided through their new revolving loan fund for small-scale food producers.
Julian Mangano of Della Terra will use his SOIL Loan to develop a commercial composting operation that will divert organic waste from landfills, build soil health on his Castorland, N.Y. farm, and provide high-quality compost for local farmers and gardeners.

With a goal of supporting farms and food businesses who have difficulty accessing loans through conventional programs, ANCA, a regional economic development nonprofit serving businesses and communities in northern New York, partnered with Foodshed Capital, a certified Community Development Financial Institution that centers mission-driven lending and customized business support for underserved farmers, to develop the SOIL Loan Fund.

The first phase of the program launched in May 2022 with $100,000 from donations and a Generous Acts Fund grant from Adirondack Foundation.

“Julian’s business plan for a composting operation is very well thought out and comprehensive, and his project will fill a critical food system gap in Lewis County,” said ANCA Local Food System Director Adam Dewbury. “His goals are very much in line with those of the SOIL Loan Program as we aim to support projects that will help businesses grow and improve their financial stability. ANCA and Foodshed Capital are honored to provide Julian the financing support he needs to move his project forward.”

 

“Foodshed is thrilled to help connect Julian with the funds he needs to develop his composting enterprise,” said Michael Reilly, Foodshed Capital’s executive director. “Julian is actively developing regenerative farming practices and business plans that consider the farm’s bottom line as well as environmental and community benefits. This loan will help him diversify Della Terra’s offerings, while improving its soils for long-term sustainability. We look forward to working with ANCA on the next round of SOIL loans for food entrepreneurs in northern New York.”

 

Mangano, who also works at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, N.Y. as a technical specialist with a focus on workforce development, started Della Terra in 2017 on five acres of land in Castorland — a 40-minute drive from his home. He grows a variety of organic vegetables in the farm’s hoop house and market garden. Della Terra, which means “of the earth” in Italian, strives to produce “food with integrity” by using organic and bio-intensive farming practices and engaging the public with environmentally sustainable agriculture.

 

“Organic waste makes up a significant segment of our nation’s solid waste — about 30%. Much of this material can be composted and used to improve our soils rather than doing nothing, sitting in a landfill,” said Mangano. “I’m so grateful to ANCA and Foodshed Capital for supporting this effort and helping Della Terra serve as a model for sustainable and resilient small-scale farming. There is a real need in our region for this type of service and an even greater need to advance agricultural practices that nourish our land and support local economies.”

 

Della Terra’s composting operation will align with New York State’s new Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law which became effective on January 1, 2022. The law requires businesses and institutions that generate an annual average of two tons of food waste per week to donate excess edible food or recycle food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycling facility. The project will utilize an aerated composting system that accelerates the composting process to produce a finished product in just 30 to 40 days.

 

“The hard work and vision of entrepreneurs like Julian continually inspire us. ANCA is dedicated to supporting this kind of effort through our multiple programs and through partnerships with organizations like Foodshed Capital,” said ANCA Executive Director Elizabeth Cooper. “We wish Julian all the best as he develops this new venture that will not only benefit his farm, but also serve the broader community.”

 

ANCA and Foodshed Capital are currently reviewing applications for the second round of loan funds. They expect to announce the next recipients by December 2022. Applications for the third round will be
due in early January 2023. Producers interested in applying for a loan are invited to learn more about the SOIL Loan Fund at www.adirondack.org/SOIL and contact Adam Dewbury at localfoodsystems@adirondack.org or 518.891.6200.

 

ANCA is an independent, nonprofit corporation with a transformational approach to building prosperity across northern New York. Using innovative strategies for food systems, clean energy, small businesses, and equity and inclusion, ANCA delivers targeted interventions that create and sustain wealth and value in local communities.

 

Foodshed Capital is a certified Community Development Financial Institution dedicated to building more equitable, regenerative foodsheds through mission-driven lending and customized business support.

 

FoodCap serves regenerative farmers and food entrepreneurs up and down the East Coast with a focus on BIPOC- and female-led operations.

 

Photo at top: Julian Mangano of Della Terra in Castorland, N.Y. Photo provided by Audrey Schwartzberg, ANCA Communications Officer.

Related Stories


Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.




Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!