FUND YOUR OPERATION

IN THREE EASY STEPS
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1. READ

Read our Eligibility Details, Lending Principles,  Loan Details, and Partnership Pledge below.

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2. APPLY

Complete and submit your loan application by one of our four quarterly loan deadlines.

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3. STANDBY

Wait for us to contact you.

It typically takes us no more than a week to respond.

ELIGIBILITY

All applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Own and operate a small- to mid-scale food producing farm or a food business that supports local, regenerative agriculture

  • Have a business that is registered in a state as either an LLC or a corporation (we do not lend to individuals)

  • Demonstrate sufficient financial need

  • Articulate in the application that their work contributes to more regenerative foodsheds.

LENDING PRINCIPLES

1.  PRIORITIZE EQUITY

Foodshed Capital’s loan fund is designed to make capital more accessible for those who have been underserved by historically extractive and discriminatory financing systems, specifically:

  • Those with low-income or limited assets

  • BIPOC individuals 

  • Immigrants

  • Women and non-binary people

2. PRIORITIZE REGENERATION

To qualify for a loan, applicants must also run operations dedicated to using regenerative practices. Specifically, this means we look for agricultural practices that increase biodiversity, enrich soils, protect and restore watershed health, capture more carbon than they emit, and support ecosystem function. 

Want to dig deeper? Learn more about the vital connection between regenerative agriculture and climate here:

3. PRIORITIZE FOOD PRODUCERS + PURVEYORS

Strong applicants must contribute to their local foodshed in some way. This can include:

  • Production of nutrient-dense, culturally appropriate vegetables, meat, eggs, fruit, fish, grains, or dairy products

  • Creation of value-added food products using locally produced, regeneratively grown foods

  • Processing or distribution of locally produced, regeneratively grown foods

In certain cases we may consider applicants producing regeneratively grown flowers or fiber, particularly if they are in some way supporting their local foodsheds through markets or cooperatives, but food producers and purveyors are prioritized if lending capacity is limited.

LOAN DETAILS

LOAN SIZE

Current minimum size is $5,000, and current maximum is $50,000. We may consider larger loans depending on your circumstances and project goals—please contact us to discuss.

 

RATES

Standard interest rate is 4%, which is subject to adjustment at any time. Black farmers are eligible for 0% loans through our Black Farmer Equity Fund. Other rate reductions may be available in certain circumstances.

 

TERMS

Typical terms are 3-5 years with a 3-month grace period and monthly repayments. However, flexibility is our top priority. We are happy to discuss terms that better align with your needs, particularly for larger loans.

 

COLLATERAL

We do not typically require collateral for loans under $50,000. We do reserve the right to request collateral on any loan, but loans will only be secured with assets purchased directly with financing from Foodshed Capital.

 

FOOTPRINT

We do most of our lending in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and are  expanding our footprint up and down the East coast in partnership with mission-aligned organizations. Please contact us before applying if you have questions about the eligibility of your location.

USE OF FUNDS

EQUIPMENT & INFRASTRUCTURE

Processing, refrigeration, storage, livestock shelters, buildings, fencing, tractors, irrigation, hoop houses/high tunnels, tractors, roller crimpers, etc. 

WORKING CAPITAL

Purchasing seeds, livestock, inventory; covering costs related to marketing or bookkeeping; paying for vehicle or farm insurance expenses; etc. 

BRIDGE LOANS

Complementing grant funding from federal or state agencies that is payable upon project completion. 

TRANSITION + ENHANCEMENT

Enhancing or improving farm operations, deepening commitment to regenerative agriculture or conservation practices, or transitioning away from conventional practices.

EMPLOYEES + FARM HANDS

Hiring additional staff to expand operations and increase efficiency, but not to sustain an otherwise underperforming business.

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PARTNERSHIP PLEDGE

Our unconventional approach to lending means we shoulder more of the inherent risk that comes with producing and selling food in a changing climate. The key distinction between our approach and others is that we rarely rely on collateral, which makes us very unique in the lending space.

 

In order for this approach to work, we rely on the borrower’s mutual commitment to the loan partnership. We want to see farm operations succeed, and we need to demonstrate our impact in order to continuously fund our work. Upholding the partnership is how our borrowers help "pay it forward" to more farmers down the line. In the spirit of this two-way street, we ask all borrowers to sign a good faith pledge that they will:

  • Communicate with us in a timely fashion

  • Work with us on business strategy both before and after a loan has closed

  • Provide us images of the operation and/or farm owner(s) to share with our supporters

  • Publicly share documentation of loan funds at work

  • Be prompt in returning any requested financial reports or impact questionnaires throughout the loan term.


We take this partnership seriously, and we work with borrowers who agree to take it seriously too. Please consider this ongoing partnership and how we can best serve you as you complete your application.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

  • JANUARY 1 for end of March disbursement

  • APRIL 1 for end of June disbursement

  • JULY 1 for end of September disbursement

  • OCTOBER 1 for end of December disbursement

Applications not completed by these dates may still be considered for funding in a future quarter.  If you have a need that's urgent, please contact us to discuss. Ready to get started?