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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 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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Farm Transfer and Succession

A collection of resources detailing how to plan for land management, and land and business succession strategies, to ensure a smooth transition from one owner to the next.

Farm Transfer and Succession Guidelines for Transfer & Succession Plans

At the point of farm transfer there is a risk that viable farm businesses can be lost or the farm can be converted to non-agricultural uses if careful planning decisions are not made well in advance. Actions must be taken to facilitate the continuation of the farm business or provide for the farmland to be kept in agricultural production. This resource is a set of guidelines to ensure a smooth transfer.

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Farm Transfer and Succession Successful Farm Transfer Planning for Farmers Without an Identified Successor

Focusing on topics such as: • Assessing your unique situation, goals and values regarding the future of your farm. • Clarifying your offer to a non-family successor. • Family decision-making and harmony. • Finding and bringing on a successor.

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Farm Transfer and Succession Farm Succession and Transfer: Strategies for the Junior Generation

This publication is for the next generation. We will present the issues from the perspective of the incoming farmer and offer suggestions and strategies to enhance that generation’s chances for a successful transfer of the farm business. We believe that service providers and the senior generation will find the material in this guide useful, too.

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Farm Transfer and Succession Accessory Dwelling Units to Support Farm Transitions

America’s farmers are aging. Not all farmers have family members willing to operate the family farm, leaving them searching for creative ways to transition off the farm, but ensure its continued success. One of these ways is through land use tools, specifically Accessory Dwelling Units. This paper examines the different tools and how they’ve been implemented across the country, and locally.

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A 2018 Exploration of the Future of Vermont Agriculture: Ideas to Seed a Conversation and a Call to Action

"A 2018 Exploration of the Future of Vermont Agriculture” is an attempt to capture an assessment that emerged from several conversations amongst a small group of organizations grappling with how to respond to ongoing negative trends in Vermont agriculture. The hope for this report is that it will serve as a launching point for any number of conversations across the state. In summary, the analysis of the report is that a variety of factors are combining that threaten Vermont’s economy, community, and culture. We see existing activities (e.g., land conservation easements and technical assistance) as highly valuable, but not sufficient to fully address anticipated trends. Therefore, we believe new approaches must be identified, evaluated, and implemented, in addition to sufficiently investing in existing high-impact approaches. We invite feedback on how to undertake such a process, and how to fund, administer, and coordinate implementation across our networks.

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Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2021-2030

In 2019, Farm to Plate and the VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets collaborated with subject matter experts to produce the Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2020 -- a set of 23 product, market and issue briefs -- which was delivered to the Legislature in January 2020. In 2020, Farm to Plate continued this effort by developing an additional 31 briefs and undertaking a stakeholder engagement process to further refine and prioritize strategies and recommendations to develop a shared vision for the Vermont Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 (aka Farm to Plate Strategic Plan 2.0). A list of 34 Priority Strategies will form the basis for restructuring the Farm to Plate Network in the first half of 2021. The final synthesized report, with a vision statement, 15 goals, 87 objectives and 34 priority strategies will be delivered to the Legislature in early February 2021 to officially commence Farm to Plate’s next 10-year cycle.

Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2021-2030 Food System Financing Inventory

A listing of capital providers who help to finance farm and food businesses, including debt, equity, and royalty financing, as well as various grant programs. The inventory is a supplemental document to the Vermont Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 as requested by the Vermont Legislature as part of Act 83/S.160 (2019). The full Plan can be found here: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/document/vermont-agriculture-and-food-system-plan-2020 If any of the information contained in this directory needs to be updated or is missing, please email relevant information to info@vtfarmtoplate.com and we will make corrections. Version 2021.2

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