How can we help a farmer?

I was just at the Slow Money national gathering in Louisville, Kentucky -- an inspiring couple of days! Refreshingly engaging panel with the title "Slow Internet", great connections and conversations with dozens of Kiva Zip borrowers and trustees, and a plethora of incredible speakers, including Wendell Berry, Severine Von Tscharner Fleming, and the Mayor of Louisville Greg Fischer.

Sometimes at large conferences like this, when questions are opened up to the floor, things go awry. Cringe-worthy self-promotion ensues, and at the end of the "question", you're left wondering "where was the question?" But when Jack Byrns had the microphone lowered for him, the audience's interest was piqued. I am really bad at guesstimating children's ages, but Jack must have been around nine years old (eleven? Seven? Sixteen?). In a bright, clear voice, brimming with hope and curiosity, he asked:

"What I want to know can we help a farmer? I mean how...can a farmer?

This was a lightbulb moment for me, because I knew a very easy way to answer Jack's question...make them an interest-free $5 loan on Kiva Zip!

There are a myriad more involved ways as well of course -- shop at your local farmers market, write letters to your Congresswoman, join your local Slow Money chapter, etc. But the beauty of making a Kiva Zip loan is that it is so easy, so quick, and so cheap! It's the 'gateway drug' to deeper participation in a sustainable agricultural ecosystem! Imagine if we get thousands and millions of people throughout America, and the wider world, financially supporting sustainable farming on Kiva Zip -- even with as little as $5. What good fruit might be reaped in the future, from the interest, engagement and passion planted with those seeds?

So I cornered Jack and his mom, a farmer from New York, after the session (Jack's was the last question), and within five minutes Jack had answered his own question, by making a $5 loan on Kiva Zip.

How can we help a farmer?

So how can you help a farmer, entrepreneur, small business owner or artisan? Make them a $5 Kiva Zip loan! It's only a little help, but as Tesco put it, Every Little Helps.

Every Little Helps


Posted by Jonny Price, Senior Director, Kiva Zip

Nov 16, 2014

Jonny first came to Kiva in 2009 as a volunteer on a 5-month externship from his management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. After 6 years at Oliver Wyman, first in London and then in San Francisco, he joined Kiva full-time in September 2011, to lead the Kiva Zip program. Jonny is married to Ali, who he met at Kiva, and occasionally you may glimpse them cycling their tandem through the streets of San Francisco. He graduated with a BA in History from the University of Cambridge, where he represented his college at 14 sports (although 3 of these were table football, pool and chess).


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