UMassFive College Federal Credit Union to give CISA $100K over 10 years

Staff Writer
Published: 8/15/2021 8:32:25 PM

HADLEY — The partnership between a local credit union and agricultural support organization just got stronger.

The UMassFive College Federal Credit Union has announced that it is giving $100,000 over 10 years to Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, or CISA — the Pioneer Valley-based nonprofit that works with local farms and communities to bolster the regional food economy.

“Ten years ago, our federal regulators approved CISA as an official sponsor of UMassFive, earning CISA members eligibility to join the Credit Union,” UMassFive CEO Rich Kump said in a statement announcing the commitment. “I can think of no better way to honor that 10 years of partnership than with a commitment to another decade, and $100,000 in support of CISA ideals.”

CISA boasts more than 250 farms participating in its programs, including “Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown,” which it says is the longest-running agricultural buy-local campaign in the country. The organization also subsidizes summer farm shares for low-income seniors, provides technical assistance to farms, and research support for local food businesses, among other programs.

“CISA is so grateful for our long-term relationship with UMassFive and for their commitment to local farms and food,” Philip Korman, CISA’s executive director, said in a statement. “Knowing their support is there for us over the next decade gives CISA the capacity to focus on our core work — supporting local farms, and growing our region’s thriving local food movement.”

In its announcement, UMassFive said it has also launched a 0% interest farm share loan program, in which anyone can finance the cost of a CSA farm share interest free for six months.

CISA originally formed in 1993 as the Pioneer Valley Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, which was a consortium of educational organizations and nonprofits seeking to tackle problems facing agriculture in the Valley. It incorporated as CISA in 1999, and that year launched its “Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown” program.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at


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