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First farmers-only credit union opens Oct. 8

Oct 01, 2019

Unity — The country's first credit union to support farmers and food producers officially opens here Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 1 p.m.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills will cut a ceremonial ribbon, and Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, granddaughter of President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt and a founding board member, will make the first deposit in Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union at 69 School St., Unity. They will be joined by members of Maine's congressional delegation and other governmental and elected officials.

The state's 56th credit union, Maine Harvest will offer specialized loans and mortgages that traditional lending institutions often don’t. The goal is to close a $180-million funding gap within this sector, strengthen Maine’s food economy and increase the availability of fresh, local food.

Chartered and regulated by the National Credit Union Administration, Maine Harvest will create four new jobs soon will serve over 100 small farmers and food producers, deploying over $12 million in loans within the next six years. Members will have access to all credit unions within the Maine Credit Union League via shared-branching.

The founders are former Wall Street professionals who, over the last six years, raised $2.4 million in philanthropic capital and drafted a 1,000-page application to gain a federal charter. Maine Harvest is one of two credit unions chartered by the NCUA in 2019.

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