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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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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules

Agricultural planning modules that provide guidance and resources on new issues like food system planning, agripreneurism, and composting, while giving detailed guidance on historically important issues such as farmland conservation, farmland and taxes, and land use regulations. These topics are covered in 5 short easily digestible modules that can be read as a series or quickly referenced individually.

Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 2: Agricultural Land Conservation

A planning guide to agricultural land conservation that covers partners, tools and techniques, and resources.

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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 3: Farmland and Property Taxes

This module explains how farmland is taxed, and what would happen in both the short and long term if farmland protection tools available to communities were utilized.

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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 4: Local Regulatory Context

An overview of how local regulations can promote diversified enterprises on farms that can help bolster farm viability, keep land open and in production, and maintain or enhance a community's sense of place.

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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 5: State Regulations

An overview of the intersection between agricultural land use planning and Vermont's Right to Farm Law and Act 250.

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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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