March 18, 2015

ASHLAND, WI – Four local farms will receive micro-loans totaling close to $15,000 from the Chequamegon Food Co-op to help with farm-related projects this spring. The Co-op’s micro-loan program began in 2008 as a way for the cooperative grocery store to invest its profits in the local food system and to potentially provide more local foods for the Co-op’s shelves. These small, no interest loans are capped at $5,000 and have a 3-year payback period. Micro-loan recipients were as follows:

  • Owner Gilbert Schwartz of Seasonally Sourced in Ashland, Wis. will purchase foraging gear, storage containers, and processing equipment.
  • Owners Rob Hartman and Ashley Smith of Twisting Twig Farm in Bayfield, Wis. will upgrade their photovoltaic system and purchase a back-up generator.
  • Owners Kelsey and Todd Rothe of River Road Farm in Marengo, Wis. will construct a walk-in-cooler inside their barn.
  • Owner Theresa Depies of Springbrook Dairy in Springbrook, Wis. will improve the cheese curds and quark cheese packaging.

Of the nearly $15,000 awarded in this loan cycle, $10,800 came from the Co-op’s CHIP for Change program. CHIP for Change is a contribution program where money given by customers at the Co-op’s registers helps fund the micro-loan program.

Chequamegon Food Co-op offers micro-loans in the spring and fall. The next micro-loan application deadline is Tuesday, September 1, 2015. To learn more about the micro-loan program, please contact Harold Vanselow, general manager, at (715) 682-8251 or

The Chequamegon Food Co-operative is a member-owned natural foods store that specializes in local products within 100 miles of Ashland, Wisconsin.