Front view of big barn.Where:
Merced County, California

A nonprofit group needed to replace a dilapidated barn for community use.

RCAC’s Loan Fund financed Merced County Fairgrounds’ new livestock building.


Friends of Merced County Fair (FMCF) is a nonprofit group dedicated to making its fairgrounds a better place to work and play, to ensure a great future for its community and youth groups. Funding cuts for California’s county fairgrounds created the need for groups like FMCF to raise capital to maintain fair property and improve community facilities.

As a small organization with a limited balance sheet, it was difficult for FMCF to obtain conventional bank financing.

While the capital campaign was in progress, RCAC provided a $600,000 bridge loan to construct a 33,800 sq. ft. livestock barn at the Merced County Fairgrounds. The new construction replaces the existing swine barn that was built in 1939 and is in poor condition. The project has been the FMCF’s fundraising focus for more than six years.

Inside view of big barn.The loan was made possible by using the California Business Loan Guarantee program, operated by the Valley Small Business Development Center.

Known as the “Big Barn,” the new structure was completed in January 2016. It will be used during the annual county fair in June, and also for community events that require a large covered facility including car shows, fundraisers and programs for rural youth.

RCAC’s Loan Fund leverages funding from the U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund and the United States Department of Agriculture Intermediary Relending Program to attract private capital to allow us to make loans to support the work of organizations like FMCF.