Home Back Issues May 2013 Farm futures: private equity goes organic

Farm futures: private equity goes organic

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Article Index
Farm futures: private equity goes organic
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
0513 FarmFutures 03
// Photo by Eric Näslund

That farm financing is difficult is not new. Plenty of local programs have tried to help young farmers get onto land, whether by providing matching savings programs and loan application help, such as Slow Money Northwest is attempting with their Farmer Reserve Fund program, or by creating listings to match existing land owners with land seekers, as Friends of Family Farmers is doing with their iFarm program. But traditional bank loans don’t flow easily to farmers. This makes iFarm land seeker and young farmer Aren Hinely curious about Farmland LP’s model.

“Early in [my] search in 2007 and 2008, financing was much easier, but as my family didn’t have much experience in farming at the time, our income-debt ratio was largely all that mattered,” Hinely says. Over time Hinely found a cheap-enough piece of land, but it came with compromises, including a smaller size in a less than ideal location with more land rehabilitation needed. Now that Hinely contemplates expansion, he still faces financing hurdles.

“Overpaying for land, or being in the wrong place, or not having sufficient water and soil quality can lead to compromises in the farming in order to make a mortgage payment,” he says. “I’m very interested in what Farmland LP is up to.”

Instead of leaving investment in farming to the banks, Farmland has found a group of individual and institutional investors who are willing to put money into the Farmland equity fund, in the hopes that returns will be as good or better than commodity cropland’s approximately 5% annual return (not including land appreciation). Farmland’s pasture-based organic and sustainable model has the added benefit of being catnip to socially responsible investors.

Portland-based non-profit Ecotrust is one of these, having followed Farmland LP from its inception. Richard Hervey, Corvallis city council president, is another.

“I really like the model,” Hervey says. “I wanted to move some of our money out of the stock market. Farm land is a fundamentally stable investment and Farmland LP is also a local investment.”



 

More Articles

Wheel man

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.


Read more...

Q & A with Chuck Eggert

News
Thursday, March 06, 2014
03.06.14 thumb pacfoodsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.


Read more...

What I'm reading: Brad Smith & Travis Boersma

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.


Read more...

How to boost web traffic

News
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY  | OB WEB EDITOR

04.10.14 thumb seo-trafficSEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO).  Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.


Read more...

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

How to handle the unexpected

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 28, 2014
03.28.14 thumb disasterBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.


Read more...

Branching out

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
DSC04185BY LINDA BAKER

A blueberry bush is a blueberry bush — except when it’s a blueberry tree.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS