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Working Groups: Financing (Cross-Cutting Team)

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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Farmland Investment Model Report

This report shares the findings, analyses and commentary of the second phase of a project conducted by Land For Good (landforgood.org) (LFG) to understand the potential of private “values-based” investment capital to provide beneficial, affordable land access and security for farmers in our New England region. LFG, in partnership with the University of Vermont Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture, conducted a detailed investigation of four investment companies and their potential as innovative models for farmers to access—and in some cases transfer—farmland. The potential for success for farmland investor models lies in their attractiveness for farmers as well as investors.

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Takeaways & Next Steps: 2/6/19 Farm Transfers Financing Convening

This Takeaways document outlines a range of Sticking Points and Solutions, as well as next steps regarding further outreach to key stakeholders. It is one of a series of outputs from the Crosscutting Team coming out of the Farm Transfers Convening.

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