Madison County, Kentucky
After a successful career in the U.S. Air Force, Alvina Maynard started River Hill Ranch in Richmond, Kentucky, with support from Central Kentucky Ag Credit.
Although it surprises some, Alvina raises alpacas at River Hill Ranch. She markets both alpaca fleece and meat through her farm business and has recently expanded into agritourism.
Educating the community
Alvina is both a farmer and an educator – sharing her agricultural knowledge and experience with others.
“We love sharing about alpacas, and we love sharing about sustainable aspects of agriculture,” Alvina said. “We invite the public to come out to our farm and interact with the alpacas in the pasture.”
In addition to farm tours, Alvina and her team offer demonstrations for farm visitors, showing them how they can turn alpaca hair into clothing.
Homegrown by Heroes
As a farmer veteran, Alvina participates in the Homegrown By Heroes program – a voluntary marketing label available to farmer veterans. The label provides consumers a tangible way to support veterans in the marketplace, while promoting a dialogue between the two.
Developed by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in January 2013, and sponsored by Farm Credit, the Homegrown by Heroes label has been administered nationally by the Farmer Veteran Coalition since Veterans Day of the same year. The program has since expanded to include more than 1,100 members in all fifty states and Puerto Rico.
Partnership with Farm Credit
Alvina’s agricultural success did not come without its challenges, and Farm Credit has partnered with her from the beginning. “We could not have bought the farm in the first place if it weren’t for Central Kentucky Ag Credit,” Alvina said. “No other lender would give us the loan that we needed, both for the land and for construction.”
In addition to providing a loan, Central Kentucky Ag Credit financed a line of credit for Alvina that enabled her to qualify for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant. This program provided Alvina with three additional years of funding and allowed her to continue growing her operation.
Reflecting on the success of her farm, Alvina said, “It’s all thanks to Ag Credit, being able to make it possible.”