another model for financing farm starts

posted January 9, 2017

Kristopher Flack from 2015 New Farmers Almanac
Kristopher Flack from 2015 New Farmers Almanac

Let’s talk about money folks.

How do we go about starting farms? Some of the main barriers new farmers face are access to training, access to land, access to funding. We’ve definitely noticed that in the last 10 years there has certainly been an increase in training opportunities, from more farms offering better employment, institutions offering curriculum around sustainable ag, and organizations, with as similar mandate to ours, helping connect budding agrarians.

But land access and funding remain serious challenges. While farmers continue to create novel approaches to financing their operations (CSA’s, community borrowing) we clearly need more recognition and support from the financial industry to help get new farms off the ground. (more…)


raising dough

posted July 24, 2013

Food-based businesses can solve our social and environmental problems — yet the majority of food entrepreneurs say lack of access to capital prevents them RaisingDough_finalcover_hiresfrom launching or growing their ventures.

Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business is an unprecedented guide to the financing options available to support sustainable food businesses. I was frustrated that no good resource existed that outlined the capital options available for food businesses — including pros, cons, criteria, and sources — and so I decided to write the book myself! Chelsea Green published it in June of 2013, and it is now available through a variety of channels.

In simple terms, Raising Dough provides valuable insights into the world of finance, including descriptions of the various capital options available (including traditional debt and equity, government grant and loan programs, cutting-edge social finance options such as crowdfunding, and community-based alternatives); guidelines for choosing which capital options are the most appropriate given the size, stage, entity type, growth plans, mission, and values of an enterprise; testimonials highlighting the experiences of food system entrepreneurs who have been there before (including both success stories and cautionary tales); and referrals to sources of capital, financiers, investor networks, and other financial resources. (more…)


business training – making it happen in more places

posted July 18, 2011

Carolina Farm Credit is now accepting applications for the third class to participate in an e-learning financial and business planning course.  The Ag Biz Planner curriculum includes financial and business planning, budgeting and other money matters essential to a farm’s success.

Carolina Farm Credit is offering the Farm Credit University on-line program in conjunction with the Farm Credit Associations in North Carolina and Virginia including AgCarolina Financial, Cape Fear Farm Credit, Farm Credit of the Virginias, and Colonial Farm Credit.  Participants will have the opportunity to chat and benchmark with producers from the other associations throughout the program and network at a conference at the conclusion of the program in Raleigh, NC.

Farm Credit’s e-learning program targets young, beginning, small, and minority farmers throughout the state.   (more…)