Prepared by Carrie Abels for the Financing Cross-Cutting Team
Bread & Butter Farm, which straddles the South Burlington/Shelburne border, sells an array of farm products and experiences—everything from grass-fed beef to fresh-baked German bread to winter vegetables to farm-fresh burgers served on Friday evening “Burger Nights.”
But the diversity of Bread & Butter’s offerings pales in comparison to the diversity of funding sources that financed the 2009 start-up of the farm and the sale of the farmland to the current farmers.
Nearly a dozen organizations and more than 25 individuals were involved, including a statewide land trust, a local land trust, two municipalities, an agricultural lender, a foundation, an angel investor, CSA members, and nonprofits. Although this particular patchwork quilt of financing sources was unique to Bread & Butter Farm, the fact is that new farm ventures in Vermont must often pull together a variety of financing sources, particularly if the purchase of valuable land is involved.