The Sustainable Agriculture Tool Lending Library came to be through George O'Neal of Lil' Farm and his girlfriend Kelly Owensby: realizing how difficult it was for George, as a young farmer, to rent or buy equipment for his farm in Timberlake, they came up with the plan to become a cooperative with ten other farmers to buy farm tools together and share.

The Lending Library uses a Google calendar to manage who gets what tool when. The Library also collects yearly membership fees that go towards future tool buying, insurance, and maintenance of the tools, and different farmers are assigned to different positions (ie. secretary, treasurer...) to help the cooperative run smoothly and be self-sustaining.

Learn how tremendously beneficial this project is, how easy it is to replicate, and how it makes for a stronger, more vibrant, more successful, and more educated farm community.

The Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund (TCRF) assists farmers in developing new sources of agricultural income through provision of cost-share grants. This story is part of a series documenting innovative farmers throughout the state of North Carolina. This program is made possible with support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

Photography, audio, and production by Alix Blair.

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