Stories from the North: Strafford Village Farm
Our 2017 Annual Meeting featured presentations from four of our farmers. The farmers who spoke are from the Northern reaches of the country, representing Montana, Minnesota, and Vermont. We are excited to share the videos from those presentations over the course of Fall as part of a monthly harvest video series. These 30 minute presentations offer a deep dive into the featured operations and are followed by a Q&A session with the investors and guests who attended the meeting. 

Our second release features Vermont's Strafford Village Farm. Check back with us in November for the next installment.
Don't miss our webinar announcement below! Iroquois Valley Farms and Rodale Institute are teaming up to present on the economics and outcomes of organic agriculture. Register to attend and learn how healthy soil = healthy food = healthy people.


In 2016, Iroquois Valley Farms piloted a new mortgage program. What we found over the years was that one of the largest impediments to growing organic farming was the repayment terms and conditions of a family's primary farm mortgage. Without addressing this issue, future growth opportunities were  often severely restricted.

Our initial mortgage program had multiple objectives:
  1. Recapitalize existing organic mortgages with more flexible repayment terms
  2. Encourage new farmland purchases by organic farming families
  3. Expand operations to new geographic markets
  4. Diversify portfolio risk by including more climate resilient poduction. Over 60% of farmland mortgaged through Iroquois Valley Farms is in pasture.
Strafford Village Farm is a good example of executing this strategic plan. Learn about the Miller Varley family's operation and why mortgage financing made sense for the family by watching Shannon's presentation.
Watch Strafford Village Farm's presentation from our Annual Meeting

Iroquois Valley Farms' first investment in Vermont was for the Miller Varley family. Shannon Varley leads the operation and believes that regenerative farming has the capacity to create meaningful change and impact communities. The family found a 178 acre farm in Strafford and approached Iroquois Valley Farms to provide mortgage financing. The farm was successfully purchased in November 2016. The Miller Varleys raise grass-fed livestock on pasture (lamb, cattle, heritage pigs, and chickens) and grow vegetables and flowers for sale on the farm and through their CSA program.  
What's new with Strafford Village Farm?
Strafford Village Farm has been busy laying the groundwork for a successful 2018 season! Notable farm improvements include:
  • Fencing
  • Cover crop seed drilled
  • Water lines installed
  • Farm store under construction
  • Building & barn repair
  • Hoop house construction
They also hosted Spring and Fall events that raised money for Strafford Village's preschool and a local family. In their first year of operations, they sold over $10,000 in pork and lamb. Most importantly, Shannon is excited to begin transitioning into working on the farm full time for the 2018 season! 

The Miller Varleys have cultivated relationships to strengthen their farm by working with Vermont Farm Viability and have made it through the first stage of obtaining a conservation easement through Vermont Land Trust's Farm Preservation program. They are also collaborating with NRCS to put in fencing, a high tunnel, and waterers for 2018. 

From Shannon - "The days move swiftly and the farm vision is tempered by the amount of work needing to happen with two fully employed off-farm owners. Infrastructure is sliding into place and relationships are being cultivated. We have enjoyed the full, enthusiastic embrace of the community and have hosted two very successful community fundraisers on the farm this year." 
Webinar
Iroquois Valley Farms is partnering with Rodale Institute to host a webinar! Tune in to learn about the interconnected relationship between soil, people, and planet. We'll highlight the way our organizations are creating impact in these areas and how you can get involved. 

The webinar will be held Wednesday, November 15th, at 11:00 AM PCT / 1:00 PM CST / 2:00 PM EST.  This webinar will last about 45 minutes with time for questions. Please direct any questions to info@iroquoisvalleyfarms.com


Connecting farm families, communities, and investors since 2007. 
 
As a corporate guideline,  we do not look for specific farmland to purchase or finance. We develop relationships with farmers, mostly young and organic, who want to grow their farm business. We move forward if we have a ready, willing and able farmer in hand. 

Learn more about the two investment options -- REIT equity shares or Soil Restoration Notes -- that will continue to support farmers and farms similar to Strafford Village Farm  here. Or, email us to receive the offering materials at  invest@iroquoisvalleyfarms.com.
   
Iroquois Valley Farms | REIT | B Corporation  | Est. 2007

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