Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), which provides government-guaranteed loans to businesses and organizations in under-served and rural communities, has completed $10 million in financing to RAW FARM LLC in Fresno, California.
The loan package, guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Business & Industry CARES Act, will help RAW FARM continue its recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The farm produces dairy products verified by the Non-GMO Project for the California market.
With the government-guaranteed financing, RAW FARM will be able to strengthen supply chains, advance production and cover day-to-day operational expenses, such as wages and salaries, healthcare, benefits and lease and rent payments.
“Food security is a top concern for many in the U.S., and around the world. Helping rural and under-served communities retain access to healthy, local food sources is an important part of our work at GCL,” said Jeremy Gilpin, executive vice president of GCL, one of the largest providers of USDA loans. “We’re pleased to help RAW FARM, a five-generation, family-owned farm, continue to provide dairy products across California.”
“The government-guaranteed funding secured by GCL will help us to continue to provide our fresh, raw milk dairy products to Californians. The pandemic had far-reaching, long-term effects on the operations of many farms around the country, directly impacting the food supply for Americans. Loan programs like the ones through the USDA will keep many farms in business, while ensuring a strong supply of healthy foods to local communities,” said Aaron McAfee, President of RAW FARM.
RAW FARM has over 1,600 cows that are given feed with no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and have access to green pastures throughout the year. Grass grazing allows for cows to produce milk that contains higher levels of vitamin A, CLA and Omega-3 fatty acids. The loan is expected to help the farm retain about 65 jobs.