Iroquois Valley Farms LLC

Organic farms investing

Evanston, Illinois

United States

www.iroquoisvalleyfarms.com

About Iroquois Valley Farms LLC

Iroquois Valley Farms is a restorative farmland finance company providing land access to organic family farmers, with a focus on the next generation. Starting in 2007 (as Iroquois Valley LLC) and establishing itself as a leader in socially responsible investing before “SRI” and “Impact Investing” were common vernacular, the Company has a long track record of successfully acquiring organic and transitional farmland. In 2016, the Company expanded its scope to include first mortgage financing.

The Company uses private investment capital to facilitate farmers’ expansion plans through leasing or mortgage financing. The Company is committed to social responsibility and the public health. In that regard, Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT, the parent entity, was established as a Public Benefit Corporation, whose public benefit is enabling healthy food production, soil restoration and water quality improvement through the establishment of secure and sustainable farmland access tenures.

Iroquois Valley Farms has purchased over 5,000 acres of farmland representing nearly $30 million in transaction value (inclusive of land subsequently sold its tenant farmers). All the acres owned are operated to meet or exceed USDA Certified Organic standards. On the mortgage side of the business, Iroquois Valley Farms has 12 mortgages covering seven states and representing an aggregate loan value of over $8 million. These mortgages cover over approximately 2,100 acres as of September 2017.

Recent investments include farms in Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, New York, and Illinois – mostly for young farmers expanding their operations, whether they are specialty grains, pastured dairy or livestock. Over 70% of the farms leased by Iroquois Valley Farms are to millennial tenants, utilizing the company’s Young Farmer Land Access Program. The Company and its investors are well positioned to benefit from the growth of local and organic foods produced by an expanding base of mostly young farmers. According to Co-Founder, Dr. Stephen Rivard, the prescription for success is simple, “Healthy food is good medicine and good business.”

The Change We Seek®

Iroquois Valley Farms started business in Iroquois County, IL surrounded by a conventional corn and soy monoculture. The co-Founders, with a vision of creating a better agricultural system, established relationships with farmers focused on diversified organic production in Iroquois County and other neighboring Counties. From the first couple of farms, the Company expanded with a continued focus on “eroding the monoculture.” The sheer scale and size of conventional agriculture is enormous—less than 1% of the agricultural land in the U.S. is certified organic, which requires crop production rotation in order to maintain certification. The magnitude that prescription chemical agriculture has created makes transitioning to diversified organic production both a challenge and an opportunity for investors and farmers alike. The change is being accelerated by an informed and responsible coalition of investors, bankers and financial advisors, new communities are being energized and anchored through healthy food production. This systemic change has the opportunity to continue for decades if not generations. The Company is committed to providing farmers land access to accelerate the erosion of the monoculture.

As a company dedicated to cultivating a more diverse and healthy agricultural system, Iroquois Valley works predominantly with the next-generation millennial farmers. Over 70% of Iroquois Valley Farms’ tenants are of the millennial generation. Right now, by contrast, Iroquois Valley’s investor base is made up by baby boomers, who are effectively reinvesting in restoration agriculture lead by millennials. A strategic goal of the Company is to enable the millennial generation to invest directly in healthy, organic food. The Company considers its work to enable both millennial farmers and millennial investors to impact agriculture integral to social and environmental justice.

What makes us a better company?

B Impact Report

Certified since: 

August 2012
Summary:

Company Score

Median Score*

Environment

Environment

The Environment section of the Assessment evaluates a company's environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resource, and energy use; and emissions. Where applicable, it also considers a company's transportation/distribution channels and environmental impact of its supply chain. This section also measures whether a company's products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure, or consult to solve environmental problems.

11
7
Workers

Workers

The Worker section of the survey assesses the company's relationship with its workforce. This section measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training, and ownership opportunities provided to workers. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.

24
18
Customers

Customers

The Customers section of the Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers. The section focuses on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit, and if those products/services are targeted towards serving underserved populations. Questions in this section will measure whether a company's product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (e.g. improves health, preserves environment or creates economic opportunity to individuals or communities, promotes the arts/sciences, or increases the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises).

40
N/A
Community

Community

The Community section of the survey assesses a company's impact on its community. The Community section evaluates a company's supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. The section also measures the company's practices and policies around community service and charitable giving. In addition, this section includes if a company's product or service is designed to solve a social issue, including access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity, arts, and increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises.

36
17
Governance

Governance

The Governance section of the Assessment evaluates a company's accountability and transparency. The section focuses on the company's mission, stakeholder engagement, and overall transparency of the company's practices and policies.

23
6
Overall B Score
135
55

80 out of 200 is eligible for certification

*Of all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment

*Median scores will not add up to overall

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