Farms win for families, communities and investors
Iroquois Valley Farms: Best for the World
This week, B Labs released their list of "Best for the World" Companies - social enterprises that have scored in the top 10% of all certified B Corporations. The list highlights 515 companies out of 1,800 certified B Corporations total. The company is honored to be recognized for their work creating a food system where more organic farmers can access land and grow their business. Iroquois Valley Farms elected its certified B Corporation status in August 2012, when there were only 600 other companies in the B Corporation community. Since then, the number has tripled as more companies opt to maximize social and environmental impacts as well as financial sustainability. As Dave Miller, CEO and Co-Founder said:
"Ten years ago we started this company by buying one farm in Iroquois County, Illinois, the 'buckle of the corn belt.' The business mission was simple, enable a more diverse and healthy food system by providing the capital to transition to organic production. Today we have over 30 farms with a 70% millennial tenancy and investors in over 30 states (plus Washington D.C. and two foreign countries)."
Connecting farm families, communities, and Investors since 2007
As a corporate guideline, the company does not look for specific farmland, but develops relationships with farmers, mostly young and organic, that want to grow their farm business. They only move forward on a land purchase if they have a ready, willing and able farm tenant in hand. The good news for the company is that their pipeline is growing. As a result, they are looking for additional investor capital for sites in Vermont, Minnesota, and New York. For more information, visit their website. In closing, John Steven Bianucci, Director of Impact, thanked B Corp and their support:
Iroquois Valley Farms' triple-bottom-line positively impacts family farmers, public health, and the health of the planet. We collaborate deeply with communities of all kinds to maximize transformative impacts. Our work is greatly enhanced by being part of the B Corp ecosystem, working together in our common goal to evolve as Best for the World businesses. We are grateful for the vision, recognition, and support of B Labs.
Iroquois Valley Farms Chosen for $944,715 USDA Conservation Innovation Grant
Iroquois Valley Farms was recently chosen for a 2016 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) for its pioneering work in conservation finance and restorative soil management practices. The Natural Resources Conservation Service funds will help the company develop Soil Restoration Notes, a new fixed income security designed to support farmers during the challenging three year transition to USDA Certified organic production. The grant also supports our partner, Chicago-based Delta Institute in assessing soil management practices and their relationship with soil health and carbon sequestration.
"A few years ago, we introduced Young Farmer Land Access Notes to the financial markets. These medium term notes are now issued in minimum amounts of $25,000 and held by investors across the country. The development of Soil Restoration Notes is an important next step," says Miller. The new shorter term notes notes will correspond to the time frame for organic transition.
"Historically, our company has funded all development projects with private capital," according to John Steven Bianucci, architect of this collaborative venture. "We are proud to be partners with the USDA and Delta Institute in developing a more regenerative agriculture, one that restores health to our food system and increases the planet's ability to temper climate change. By expanding public/private ventures, the scaling of transformative stewardship is achievable. "