Hill and Hollow Farm in Edmonton, Ky. is focusing on expanding their business with assistance from a USDA Rural Development grant. The organic farm, which sells fresh items at farmers markets on Saturdays, now produces a high-quality, plant-dyed yarn, sheared from their sheep and dyed from the plants they grow.
Kentucky farmers Robin and Paul grow a variety of vegetables and raise different animals on the farm to sell healthy, organic food to the community. Over the past few years, Robin has been utilizing the wool from the organically raised sheep to create yarn. By applying dyes from different plants on the farm, Hill and Hollow is able to produce an extraordinarily unique product.
“Working with the owners of Hill and Hollow Farm has been a tremendous opportunity to increase business opportunities in rural Kentucky,” said Robi Fauser Fink, business-cooperative loan specialist. “Organic foods and fibers provide locally grown goods to community members searching for high-quality, sustainable products.”
After receiving a USDA Value-Added Producer grant, Hill and Hollow Farm has expanded sales opportunities for the organic wool yarn. Grant money allowed the farm to design new advertising materials and revise the website to include a link to online sales. They have also been able to attend specialized conferences to sell their rare yarn.
Earlier this month, Rural Development also approved a $50,000 grant to the City of Edmonton for the purchase of police cruisers. These cruisers will assist the police department in providing efficient and effective emergency services for this community in rural Metcalfe County.
In addition to assisting business owners and community facilities in rural Kentucky, USDA Rural Development provides a variety of resources, including direct loans and loan guarantees to help rural families buy homes at rates they can afford. Through its direct lending program, USDA issues loans without down payments, forgoes certain fees and can finance up to 100 percent of the total closing cost.
USDA also offers loans and grants to elderly and very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards, perform necessary repairs, make homes accessible for people with disabilities, or make homes more energy efficient.