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Financing Case Studies

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network created a series of case studies based on types of financing used by Vermont food businesses. The case studies cover convertible debt (High Mowing Organic Seeds), farmland financing (Bread & Butter Farm), and royalty financing (Liz Lovely).

Financing Case Studies Seeding the Future with Convertible Debt: A Financing Case Study of High Mowing Organic Seeds

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The first financing case study, Seeding the Future With Convertible Debt, focuses on High Mowing Organic Seeds--a producer of more than 600 varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seed that employs more than 40 people in Wolcott--and convertible debt.

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Financing Case Studies Bread & Butter Farm Case Study

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The second financing case study, Complex Dough, focuses on the land deal that enabled Bread & Butter Farm to purchase a conserved farm in Chittenden County. 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…

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Financing Case Studies Liz Lovely Case Study

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The third financing case study, Cookie Royalty, focuses on Liz Lovely, Inc. and a royalty financing deal that helped the business to grow. The 2013 royalty financing deal that helped Liz Lovely increase its annual sales from $1 million to $2 million in just one year was flexible, designed to move with the ebbs and flows of the company. Royalty financing, in which a loan is repaid based on a percentage of revenue over time (vs. a fixed monthly principal and interest payment), allowed Liz Lovely to endure fluctuations in revenue without having to make pre-set…

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Gathering the Herd: Vermont Meat Processing Case Study

Gathering the Herd captures lessons learned over a three year period from by the Farm to Plate Meat Processing Task Force. The Meat Processing Task Force within Farm to Plate, active from 2011 to 2013, facilitated greater mutual understanding between livestock farmers and meat processors – two constituencies that had been in minimal contact with each other and were largely unaware of each others’ challenges.

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Energy

A collection of resources providing information about energy use, renewable energy, and alternative energy forms on farms.

Energy Promoting Adoption of Biomass Fuels for Heating Vegetable Greenhouses in Vermont

This project demonstrated the use of biomass heating for greenhouse vegetable production at sites across Vermont.

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Farm Viability

A collection of resources aimed to aid farmers and technical assistance providers in strengthening the financial performance and viability of farm and food businesses.

Farm Viability 'Business for Sale' Valuation

Following is a discussion on ‘Business for Sale’ valuation models to assist farms, value added businesses, and agricultural business planning consultants assist farms in planning for eventual farm/business transfer. Primary questions: How to determine the value of the business? How to present the ’Business for Sale’?

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Farm Viability 2016 Maple Business Benchmark

The 2016 Maple Business Benchmark is the fourth year of financial record analysis for a small group of commercial syrup producers. The University of Vermont Extension worked with seventeen maple producers to complete financial analysis of their maple enterprise but only eleven financial records were deemed suitable and accurate enough for inclusion in the 2016 group analysis.

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