The La Montañita (LaM) FUND is a member funded micro-lending program designed to grow the local food system and strengthen the local economy. It provides an opportunity for members of La Montañita Food Co-op to support farms, ranches, value-added producers, and other food system endeavors and related businesses in the La Montañita foodshed region, as well as non-food businesses in New Mexico that utilize the cooperative economic business model. La Montañita Co-op Members can purchase Interests (similar to investing in a mutual fund) in the LaM FUND. Proceeds from the sale of the Interests in this offering are deposited in an account with Nusenda Credit Union for use as collateral for loans made by Nusenda to local producers and based on the recommendations of the LaM FUND Loan Advisory Committee. The loans are administered by Nusenda.
If you are a farmer, rancher, value-added producer, operate some other food system endeavor, or manage a cooperative business, you can apply for a loan through the La Montañita (LaM) FUND.
La Montañita owns and controls the LaM FUND. The FUND consists of two types of Interests—A and B. Both A Interests and B Interests allow for the participation in LaM FUND activities but do not provide ownership of the LaM FUND. They do entitle A and B Interest purchasers to a share of any income from LaM FUND activities, such as loan fees, as determined by the La Montañita Board of Directors, proportional to the number of Interests they have purchased. La Montañita will purchase all A Interests by rolling over its A Interests purchased in the previous offerings. If a loan defaults, collateral provided by A Interests will be accessed first to repay Nusenda before collateral provided by B Interests is accessed.
The investing aspect of the LaM FUND is open to all current Co-op members who reside in New Mexico. The money raised from the sale of the “Interests” are placed in a Money Market account at Nusenda Credit Union, and are used to collateralize the loans to producers and other cooperative enterprises approved by the LaM FUND’s Loan Advisory Committee.
Interests are $250 each with a total 800 units in this year’s offering. The Interests are divided into 100, A-Interests and 700, B-Interests. La Montañita Co-op will purchase all 100, of the A-Interests for a total Co-op investment of $25,000 this year. Monies from the Co-op purchased A-Interests will be used first to cover outstanding balances in the event of a LaM FUND loan default. These A-Interests are the Co-op’s financial commitment to the program and although the purchase of LaM FUND’s interests are considered high risk, the A-Interests purchased by the Co-op, provide a lessening of risk to other LaM FUND investors.
B-Interests are available to all Co-op members on a first come first serve basis until they are gone. To keep the grassroots nature of the investing program individuals are limited to 40 B-Interests for an individual maximum investment of $10,000. Investors who purchase the “Interests” will receive the highest possible Nusenda money market interest rate (based on the total amount in the account) on our cooperatively pooled, federally insured account. Any income generated by LaM FUND loans will be shared in proportion to the number of “Interests” purchased. The Interests have a one-year term beginning January 1st and ending on December 31.
Payments to investors on LaM FUND generated income will be approved by a vote of the Co-op Board of Directors in much the same manner as they now approve the annual membership patronage refunds and will be paid within the first 90 days of each year.
Co-op members can purchase B-Interests by December 31 for the following year.
Loan applications will be taken on an ongoing basis. The LaM FUND Loan Committee will meet periodically to review all applications. Funds for approved loans will be available in late winter and early spring just in time for the growing season.
You can download an application to fill out by hand, or you can fill out an application online on this page.
Applications are reviewed and approved by the LaM FUND Advisory Committee on an ongoing basis. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment with us to review your application; to contact the LaM FUND committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. LaM FUND loans include a $25 application fee and a 5% access to funds fee.
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Updated May 4, 2023
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