Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Opheim On 50th Farm Addition at Iroquois Valley Farms


Starting from organic farming, financial support, land leasing, Iroquois Valley Farms always keeps the farmers’ priority in front, while helping them through generations.

Dailycsr.com – 09 August 2018 – The senior vice president of Iroquois Valley Farms, Teresa Opheim has reported that the farm has touched a milestone, as it added the “50th farm” to its portfolio. The farmland called REIT has received the honour from B Labs of “Best for the World” company. B Labs is into providing “secure land tenure” to thirty five families that work in almost “9,000 acres of farmland”. In fact, soon more families are going to join in the fold of Iroquois Valley Farms.
Farmers are the starting point of the Iroquois Valley Farms; it buys the lands that farmers need and then leases them to the farmer with “a long-term lease”. Most often the farms that are purchased are “additional acreage for the farmer”. While, Opheim adds:
“We also provide mortgage financing to help farmers purchase the land themselves. All of our farmland is organic and beyond, or in transition to organic. All of our farmers run their own businesses.
“We have seen strong and steady growth in the value of our investment portfolio over the last 11 years. Original investors in 2007 have received an 11 percent internal rate of return. We just launched a new offering, through which we will raise $20 million to help fund a long pipeline of farmers wanting our help. We also offer Soil Restoration Notes™ to investors, with a portion of returns going to help our farmers transitioning to organic”.
Furthermore, Opheim expressed her gratitude on behalf of the company towards the investors and people for their “passionate commitment” which extends to “healthy food, living soil, carbon sequestration and vibrant communities of plants and animals”.
In fact, the #NoRegrets Initiative’s Founder, Sallie Calhoun provides “a wonderful set of investment principles”, which fits in the perfect description of Iroquois Valley Farms’ approach.
Firstly, Sallie Calhoun points out that:
“Your investments should move towards healthier land in the short- and medium-term”.
Similarly, Iroquois Valley Farms’ investment is directed towards farmers that steer clear of chemical usage. As Opheim points out:
“Each of our farm families follow basic soil health principles: They (1) use plant diversity to increase diversity in the soil; (2) manage soils more by disturbing them less; (3) keep plants growing throughout the year to feed the soil; and (4) keep the soil covered as much as possible”.
This way, they become agents to increase substantially “soil organic matter”, which is among the key indicators for soil health. While, in the second point, Calhoun writes:
“Your investments should be structured to avoid exit pressures that would jeopardize medium- to long-term viability”.
When it comes to Iroquois Valley Farms, the farmer families are supported to be on the land for “hundreds of years” through “long-term viability”. The company buys lands for farmers and even provides them financial support to farmer families through generation, as currently it is “their sixth generation of farming”.
Iroquois Valley Farms offers unique service which comes with their “truly supportive” terms, as farmers after renting a land for seven years can purchase the same, although they are not forced to do so, if they feel that the time is “not right for them”.
Talking about the structure of rents, Teresa Opheim added:
“Rent is set lower during the transition to organic certification, and then increases during the farmers’ highly successful years. Those who receive mortgage funding from us pay interest only during those tough early years. Our investors make a seven-year commitment, which provides further security to our farmers. Our large pool of investors means our farmers are not in jeopardy of losing their land tenure if some chose to redeem their shares”.