Scaling biodiversity in the Northern Great Plains

Hill County, Montana

2,200 organic acres above the Hi-Line
In 2009, we purchased a large tract of organic acres in the middle of the central Illinois monoculture. At $6,250/organic acre, the purchase price raised eyebrows across the state. However, the 20+ investors that originally funded Two Roads Farm were committed to keeping the land organic. Their vision helped establish a 6th generation farm family on the land. Since then, the tenant family (the Throneburgs), have purchased two parcels of the original farm from us, have invested in our company stock, and have shown many others a new road to change in their county.

Ten years later, we are pleased to announce that another similar opportunity has come our way. We recently established MT Hi-Line Farms LLC to support Vilicus Farms ' vision to scale organic agriculture in the Northern Great Plains. We partnered with Bozeman-based local investing firm, Homestake Venture Partners on this acquisition. The newly purchased farms are located in Montana's Hi-Line region, which runs parallel to the Canadian border above the former Great Northern Railway . This year marks the 11th harvest at Vilicus Farms, which has grown to about 8,700 acres during their tenure. Vilicus Farms was featured in Liz Carlisle's book, The Lentil Underground , a book about the organic farmers of Montana who grow for Timeless Natural Food . In a landscape dominated by conventional wheat monoculture, Anna and Doug's 15+ crops surrounded by native habitat conservation strips is a stunning visual change from the norm.

The monoculture of central Illinois has changed dramatically over the last ten years and we see parallels for the conversion of the Northern Great Plains. Let us know if you are traveling in either of these monocultures -- we will be happy to arrange a tour of one of these farms.
Northern Lights seen from Vilicus Farms. Photo by Marci King.

All other photos courtesy of Vilicus Farms
The four properties that make up Hi-Line Farms
  • Wild Horse Farm is the original land that started Vilicus Farms – it is 960 acres total, with 720 crop acres and 130 native range land roamed by pronghorn antelope herds. The range land has never been used agriculturally; it provides a basis for understanding farmland's soil-building capacity compared to nature.

  • Northern Lights Farm borders Canada and is made up of 620 acres, of which 480 are crop acres. The rest is grassland and enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program .

  • Swift Fox Farm is made up of two parcels, including Sentinel Hill, an untilled overlook featuring panoramic views and native fox habitat. This farm has 640 acres total, with 57 of those acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.

  • Curlew Grasslands is 1,413 acres total, with 800 crop acres and the rest enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. It has abundant wildlife habitat, including wetlands where curlews nest. Homestake Venture Partners invested in this property independently.
REIT Equity & Soil Restoration Note Offerings are open
Iroquois Valley's mission is to provide secure farmland access to organic farmers and provide investors with the opportunity to support something real and impactful, while making a market return. We are proud to have a portfolio that supports farmers at every scale, representing a wide variety of organic operations and diversified across 14 states. With the purchase of Hi-Line Farms, Iroquois Valley has financed over 12,000 acres for organic farmers.

Our REIT equity and Soil Restoration Note offerings are open to accredited investors. Learn more about our offerings or reach out to our Director of Business Development & Investor Relations, Alex Mackay, at [email protected].
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 when we have a ready, willing and able farmer. 
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT | Public Benefit Corporation  
 Certified   B  Corporation | Est. 2007

(847) 859-6645 |   [email protected]  |