Tag: Food & Farming

Leading community development financial institution (CDFI) Virginia Community Capital (VCC) and the nationally recognized Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CRE) announced in June the launch of LOCUS Impact Investing (LOCUS), a new social enterprise to empower place-focused foundations to invest their capital locally to build prosperous, vibrant communities.

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Farmer by Farmer, Investor by Investor, Regenerating America’s Farmland

By Teresa Opheim, Board Manager, Iroquois Valley Farms

In northern Montana, Doug and Anna Jones-Crabtree restore soil health while growing organic heirloom and specialty grains, pulse and oilseed crops on 4,700 acres. A thousand miles away in Central Minnesota, the Main Street Project sequesters carbon as it transforms 100 acres of bare ground to a permaculture farm alive with hazelnut trees and foraging chickens.

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The Next Quarter Century’s Organic Marketplace

By Gary Hirshberg, Chairman and Cofounder, Stonyfield Farm & Chairman, Just Label It

As an entrepreneur, I lean optimistic, and so here are a few predictions for where the organic marketplace is heading. Several megatrends will combine to keep the sales of organic foods growing at a robust rate, they include: Increased awareness about the negative health impacts and costs of widespread agrichemical exposures; Organic Certification will remain the only reliable standard for consumers seeking real, clean foods; the positive role that organics can play in mitigating the effects of climate change including better data on the benefits of organic production; and Lower cost organic offerings.

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The for-profit subsidiary of a West Side nonprofit that provides transitional jobs for the formerly incarcerated in its production of local honey and honey-infused skincare products; a company that employs adults with autism founded by the father of an affected child; a collaborative created to renew a corridor that was once the heart of entertainment and shopping on Chicago’s south and southwest side – these are three of the beneficiaries of the first loans to be made by the impact investment fund established for Benefit Chicago.

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I often refer to Slow Money as "the CSA of investing." As with community-supported agriculture, our efforts revolve around informal, direct relationships and shared risk. Slow Money funding is flowing in a variety of ways in dozens of communities across the United States (and a few in Canada and France) — peer-to-peer lending, investment clubs, angel networks and pitch fests at public events large and small. Join us for the SOIL 2017 Conference this October, in Boulder, CO.

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Initiate a Local Foodshed Resilience Program

By Theo Ferguson, founder, Healing Living Systems & Stuart Valentine, founder, Centerpoint Investment Strategies

Imagine you are seated on a patio in the Tuscan countryside. The fresh mozzarella coupled with sweet tomatoes, ripe from the warm sun, pairs beautifully with the garlic sourdough bread and crisp local wine. The setting opens the heart and soothes the soul. The vineyard you overlook is in its crucial stage of ripening, that last conversion of acid to sugar, and the company of friends and family couldn’t be better.

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The War Between Farm and Forest

By Sofia Faruqi, manager, New Restoration Economy, World Resources Institute

Hundreds of people have died in northern Kenya in recent months due to conflict between armed cattle herders and the wildlife conservation community. During my visits to this part of Kenya over the last two years, I was surprised to find livestock in a region renowned for wildlife.

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