Farmer Veteran Coalition Announces Kiva Zip Trusteeship

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US Army Major Joel Heinzeroth used his $5,000 Kiva Zip loan to by an storage bin for his cattle operation.

To further enhance its mission of mobilizing veterans to feed America, Farmer Veteran Coalition is pleased to announce a partnership with Kiva as a trustee in their new pilot program, Kiva Zip.

Kiva, a nonprofit crowdfunding organization that connects lenders with borrowers, allows individuals to lend as little as $25 in the form of microloans. The Kiva Zip pilot program was launched to expand financial opportunities and access for borrowers who otherwise lack them, provide 100% interest-free loans, and enhance the connectedness between lenders and borrowers.

As a Kiva Zip Trustee, FVC has the ability to endorse our members, giving them instant credibility and increasing the likelihood of reaching their fundraising goals. And, thanks to our generous sponsors, each loan made to an FVC member is eligible to be matched up to $100.

“Kiva Zip is a great fit for Farmer Veteran Coalition because they help us provide one hundred percent interest-free loans to our farmer veterans,” said Yani Bunch, Army veteran and FVC special projects coordinator. “In the short period of time we have been working with Kiva Zip, our farmer-veterans have benefited immensely.”

Since joining Kiva Zip in September 2015, FVC has endorsed a total of seven loans valued at $41,800 with a 100% repayment rate. In 2016, FVC hopes to establish Kiva Zip as an integral tool to assist FVC members who need to raise immediate capital for projects with immediate return on investment.

Farmer Veteran Coalition member Joel Heinzeroth, owner/operator of Heinzeroth Cattle Company, utilized Kiva Zip in 2015 to raise $5,000 to purchase a 26-ton overhead feed bin, which is large enough to hold the entire amount of feed needed for his cattle during the winter months. Prior to his Kiva Zip loan, Heinzeroth would drive 26 miles roundtrip to pay the current market price for feed as they needed it. Now, Heinzeroth buys all his feed in bulk, saving time, money and gas.

“As you can see, an overhead feed bin provides excellent return on investment for our operation, and an overhead feed bin will provide decades of service to our family,” said Heinzeroth, field artillery officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

While FVC endorses our members in the Kiva Zip program, we assume no financial liability for loans and repayment is solely the responsibility of the borrower.

If you’re interested in learning more about Kiva Zip and FVC’s selection process, please contact Yani Bunch at yani@farmvetco.org, or call (530) 756-1395.

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Posted by Yani Bunch, Special Projects coordinator at Farmer Veteran Coalition

Feb 25, 2016

Yani Bunch is a former Kiva Zip intern who currently works with military veterans transitioning into farming at the Farmer Veteran Coalition. The Farmer Veteran Coalition is national non-profit organization and a Kiva Zip Trustee. Yani is passionate about sustainable agriculture and food justice and loves to garden in his free time.

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