National Good Food Network Webinar: THURSDAY, December 16; 3:30-4:45 PM ET
Getting Banks to “Yes” with Small, Diverse Farms FREE! Reserve Your Space Now
Not much has changed in 20 years for smaller farms since bankers turned down the founders of the successful Organic Valley brand. Lenders are still dubious of “alternative agriculture,” and smaller, diversified operations still struggle to translate their business models into conventional loan applications.
A national team of community-based lenders and sustainable agriculture organizations aims to change that. They are developing a tool to help lenders and smaller, diversified farms communicate. Join us for this webinar for a deep look at financing sustainable food.
Susan Cocciarelli of Michigan State University’s C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems will set the scene, including a very brief primer on terminology. Dorothy Suput, executive director of The Carrot Project, a farm support group and microloan fund in the Northeast, will share her successes and challenges “on the ground” making these loans. Then Denise Dukette, vice president of New England Bank, will introduce a possible solution to the “capital access problem” for farmers: a tool, or “risk assessment framework,” to assist traditional lenders.
Finally this team will explain their plans to build a national cohort of partners working on the ground to develop this methodology and help more lenders get to “yes” with credit-worthy farms.