Community Agriculture Alliance Provides Micro Loans for Colorado Ag Projects
Launched in 2019, Community Agriculture Alliance developed a micro loan program focused on providing direct financial support for local agriculture in the Yampa Valley of Colorado. Past loans have been utilized for local food producers to expand their businesses, and purchase fencing, irrigation, and season extension materials, as well as livestock and farm equipment.
The Regenerative Agriculture Finance Fund's Climate-Smart Rebate
A new loan product from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Farmers Business Network seeks to motivate farmers, and lenders, to embrace climate-smart practices at scale. The pilot Regenerative Agriculture Finance Fund (RAFF) provides farmers who meet EDF's soil health and nitrogen efficiency standards a 0.5% discount on the base rate of a one-year line of credit.
Virginia Startup Working with Farmers to Increase Community Access to Local Food
GoGreen Farms and Greenhouses in Hampton Roads, Virginia, is a food hub and a farm agribusiness that partners with Virginia farmers to expand domestic markets. With funding from a SOIL Loan from CDFI Virginia Foodshed Capital, GoGreen has grown from 20 small-to-midsized farms in 2019 to nearly 40 now connected to wholesale food services, such as schools and institutional programs.
Local Meat Processing: Rebuild Begins in Lamoni, IA
Red Barn Meat Market combined federal funding and private investment for a new building project to expand and upgrade meat processing facilities in the small town of Lamoni, Iowa. The company will offer custom processing and retail meat offerings as well as a small meat locker to supply local, fresh products to their community.
Maine Ag Department Offers Loans for Underserved Groups, Beginning Farmers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Maine Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers specially-targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to underserved applicants and beginning farmers and ranchers. Direct loans are made to applicants by FSA. Guaranteed loans are made by lending institutions that arrange for FSA to guarantee the loan.
One Investment Firm's Bold Experiment to Finance the Future of American Farming
Farmland LP is a private investment firm that acquires conventional farmland and converts it to organic operations; they then lease land to farmers growing specialty crops such as berries and vegetables. The firm owns and manages 15,000 acres in Northern California, Washington State, and Oregon, with total assets valued at nearly $200 million. The fund is among a handful of U.S.-based firms that are using their financial and farming expertise to remake the American agricultural landscape.
General Mills Invests $15M in Funds for Minority and Female Entrepreneurs
General Mills has announced its venture capital arm, 301 INC, will invest a combined $15 million into two early-stage venture capital funds, Fearless Fund, and Supply Change Capital. These investments are part of General Mills' commitment to standing for good and promoting racial and gender equity in representation through economic opportunity for minority and female food entrepreneurs.
USDA, Colorado Sign First Cooperative Agreement for the Local Procurement of Food
The USDA has signed a cooperative agreement under the new Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program with the Colorado Department of Human Services. Through this program, USDA will award up to $400 million through non-competitive cooperative agreements with state and tribal governments to support local, regional, and underserved farmers and ranchers through the purchase of food produced within the state or 400 miles of delivery destination.