New Program to Help Organic and Sustainable Farmers Maintain or Grow Their Land Base

This comes to us from Robert Karp of New Spirit Ventures, LLC:
I am launching a new program designed to help farmers committed to organic and sustainable agriculture start, maintain and grow their operations by linking them with socially motivated investors who will purchase the farmland they need and lease it to them on long-term, renewable leases with an option to buy. I am sending out this Call for Pre-Applications because I have an initial investor who has asked me to help them invest $3 million in this way in 2008. I will seek out other investors as well based on the opportunities that come forward.
Below is an outline of the program in brief. You can download more detailed information below. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions after reading the attached document.
What: A program designed for experienced organic and sustainable farmers who need additional land, or need help maintaining their existing land base. I will help farmers who meet the criteria link up with ethical investors who will purchase the land they need and lease it to them on long-term (up to fifteen year), renewable leases. The leases will include an option to buy at a fair market value if the investor ever wants to sell the land. A conservation easement may also be put on the land. The program is being piloted in 2008 through this Call for Pre-Applications.
Who: Farmers may apply who can demonstrate a commitment to the core principles of organic/sustainable agriculture; have stable markets, and have been in business at least five years. Farmers should be able to offer, at minimum, a starting rental rate that is 4% of the land cost.
Where: The Call for Pre-Applications is being widely distributed in six states: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
How: Read carefully the attached document and send in a short letter by June 15, 2008 describing your farm and the investment you are proposing.
For more information contact:
Robert Karp
New Spirit Ventures, LLC
W2811 Friemoth Road
East Troy, WI 53120

Download more detailed information here.