True Livin’ may be a new venture, but it’s a product of family heritage. Troy Bounds’ grandfather was a cotton farmer and his dad was also involved in agriculture, truck farming off and on throughout his life. After finishing school, Troy decided to follow in their footsteps. Before Troy and Renee were married, Troy had already been market farming for several years. Together the couple decided to purchase a farm and name it True Livin’ Farms, because, as Troy explains, “when you’re truly doing what you love to do for a living, that makes it True Livin’.” Troy manages the farm while Renee works as a full-time nurse and helps Troy as much as she can. As their farm business grows, Renee would ultimately like to transition to working the land with Troy.
Reason for Loan
After purchasing their farm, Troy and Renee struggled to secure financing. “I was searching for a lender that would understand our diversification,” Troy recalls. “We tried to go through USDA, but they pretty much left us in the cold. So instead of hanging my hat up completely and saying we’re not going to do it, I talked to Dan when he was just launching Steward.” True Livin’ is using a Steward loan to finance the establishment of farm operations. This involves purchasing all manner of growing supplies: plants, seeds, fertilizer, mulch, irrigation, and greenhouse repairs. Ultimately, “It was all a matter of finding [a lender] who was willing to work with someone as diversified as we are,” Troy says.
As they continue to bolster the foundation of True Livin’ Farms, Troy and Renee have plans to build their own farm stand. This will provide a physical space that they can use to regularly market their produce in addition to traveling to farmers’ markets and offering CSA pickups. They are also working towards establishing on-farm berry production —particularly blackberries—to add to their fresh fruit offerings.