In 2016, FarmLink assembled its largest land transaction and land loan so far, which resulted in Javier Zamora’s purchase of the 195-acre Triple M Ranch in Monterey County, where 60 acres are in organic production and most of the rest in a conservation easement. With each new land transaction, we are building knowledge and partnerships to help farmers develop pathways to ownership.
Since launching JSM Organics in 2012, Javier has stood out as one of the most enterprising beginning farmers in his region. He grew up in a farming family in Mexico, but didn’t start farming on his own until after working for many other types of businesses. With training at the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) and assistance from Kitchen Table Advisors, he has established a successful business selling direct to retail, at farmers’ markets and through wholesalers. Javier grows a diverse mix of more than 30 organic vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers.
Javier was very resourceful in setting up his farm. He established three small farm sites, but it was difficult to allocate labor and equipment among them. The Triple M Ranch will allow him to gradually consolidate his production and establish better crop rotations. He purchased the ranch from ALBA, and Javier now provides leases for the beginning farmers who are operating there. He is inspired to uphold stewardship of the farm as a model for conservation while leasing to beginning, limited-resource growers.
FarmLink worked with key partners to assemble capital for this opportunity: RSF Social Finance, USDA Farm Service Agency’s Farm Ownership Down Payment Loan, and Farmer Mac serving as a secondary market for a portion of FarmLink’s loan. The secondary market option frees up capital in the loan fund for deployment to other farmers. FarmLink is grateful for all the partners that put together this deal as a model for future ownership opportunities.
Javier says, “I’m really blessed that I was able to take advantage of what’s available for us to succeed. So one of my goals now, and it has always been, is to help others, and show them how to access the people, programs and organizations that are willing to help you.”