Fair Acres Farm 
Marion County, Iowa

A case study for land transfer


For years we have attended the annual winter conference of Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) in Ames. This farmer-governed nonprofit is fostering scalable change in the heart of the corn belt. We are pleased to announce that our first farm financing in Iowa is a PFI family farmer and that the farmland, including perennial pasture, will be protected by an agricultural easement held by the Iowa National Heritage Foundation

Justin and Rachel Petersen wedded in 2016  at the 320 acre farmstead.



A porch gathering of Jim Petersen with Charlotte Shivvers and Martha Skillman (photo credit: PFI)


Justin and Jim Petersen on Fair Acres Farm. Jim is a 4th generation farmer - Justin and his three siblings continue the family legacy into the 5th generation.




Petersen family sheep will soon have more grazing lands. About 100 acres of perennial pasture will be protected through a new conservation easement.
"Partnerships like this one need to happen thousands of time over ...."
I am so pleased that Iroquois Valley Farms has put its confidence in Jim and Julie Petersen as well as the next generation of organic farmers in the Petersen Family: Justin and his new wife, Rachel; Jacob and his wife Lauren; and Josh and Jenny. Together the Petersens will shepherd 320 acres of Iroquois Valley Farms-financed farmland for organic grains, cattle and sheep production.

Partnerships like this one need to happen thousands of times over in the coming years if we are to restore soil, sequester carbon and provide habitat on America's farmland. When the sellers -- Charlotte Shivvers, Martha Skillman and their late sister, Marietta Shivvers Carr -- inherited farmland in the early 1990s, they were clear about their conservation goals. It took them years, though, to find the farmers who would implement that environmental ethic on their land. In 2006 they began renting to Jim Petersen, a cousin, who began transitioning the Shivvers land to organic production. After proving themselves as tenants, Jim and Julie purchased 200 acres on generous terms from the Shivvers in prior transactions.
 
Iroquois Valley Farms has just financed the remainder of the acreage that the Shivvers owned, so their tenure on the land -- which began in 1903 -- is now complete. Justin and Rachel are moving into the lovely homestead that Charlotte and her husband, Bob Baker, most recently occupied, and will now host the family on the front porch, just like the Shivvers did for more than 100 years. Thank you to Charlotte, to Martha, to Jim and his family-and to Iroquois Valley Farms-for making this successful farm transition happen.
 
Teresa Opheim 
Iroquois Valley Farms Board Manager and Project Director, Conservation Innovation Grant  
Former Executive Director, Practical Farmers of Iowa
 
Teresa Opheim recently published The Future of Family Farms: Practical Farmers' Legacy Letter Project, a book discussing how family farmers are managing land transfers. It is estimated that over 400 million acres (70%) of farmland will change hands by 2030. PFI's annual conference will be held January 20-21, 2017 in Ames.

News & Announcements
Claire Mesesan, our Communications Manager, published an article - Sustainable Agriculture Outlook Rooted with Millennials - in Green Money Journal's December issue. Read how millennials are changing the worlds of investing and agriculture.
 
Our latest Offering has now closed -- until January. Here are some of the results of this offering: Iroquois Valley Farms raised $9.5 million total ($7.4 million through equity and $2.1 million in debt). 105 equity investments and 46 Young Farmer Land Access Notes were issued over the course of the offering. Iroquois Valley Farms now has approximately 250 equity members and 80 noteholders.
 
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, that want to grow their farm business. We move forward if we have a ready, willing and able farmer in hand. 

For more information please visit  our website .
 Connect with corporate staff a t info@iroquoisvalleyfarms.com
 
Iroquois Valley Farms, LLC | (847) 859-6645 | info@iroquoisvalleyfarms.com |  iroquoisvalleyfarms.com
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