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LAND SECURITY

TACKLING THE NUMBER ONE BARRIER FARMERS FACE: ACCESS TO LAND.
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Foodshed Capital's BIPOC Land Ownership Initiative is a comprehensive, collaborative effort to repair past harms, redistribute wealth, and create pathways to genuine land security and business success for BIPOC farmers.

  • Land access is the most significant challenge facing farmers, and it is consistently more challenging for BIPOC farmers.​

  • Land access is not the same as land security: even clear leases and legally binding contracts do not always prevent a landowner from removing access unexpectedly.​

  • The cost of generations of discrimination, exclusion, and outright violence toward Black farmers has been quantified at over $326 billion.

OUR SOLUTION: "LOAN-NOT-DEBT" FINANCING

For all the talk about land reparations, there has been very little action. People of color still own less than 1% of rural land in the United States.

 

Foodshed Capital created a financial tool to offer those with disproportionate resources an opportunity to redistribute their wealth toward land ownership for BIPOC farmers — while steering clear of outright gifting, which avoids tax issues for both giver and receiver. 

 

HOW IT WORKS:

 

  • Supporters make a donation to Foodshed Capital, a 501(c)(3)

  • We finance land purchases for for-profit farmers with a 30-year, open-ended, renewable balloon "loan" that is not debt.

  • There is no interest and there are no payments due. The loan only becomes due if property is sold. If it is sold at an appreciated value at the end of the term, owners keep the difference, allowing them to build equity.

  • Financing is combined with agricultural easements where needed to increase affordability and guarantee land protection.

Until now, there have been NO capital options available that are simple and expedient to access and that do not rely on collateral or credit scores, require a down payment, or come with high interest rates, hidden fees, rigid terms, or burdensome penalties.

PARTNERSHIP IS ESSENTIAL.

We know there are many BIPOC leaders and organizations who have been working to increase land security long before us. To honor and center their efforts, FoodCap has joined forces with a robust partnership of BIPOC-led and BIPOC-focused organizations. Through their technical assistance and training programs, we'll collectively identify exceptional farmer candidates.

A majority BIPOC-led Advisory Council comprised of leaders from each partner organization will take the lead on approving nominated farmers and providing guidance for the Initiative.

To ensure long-term success, the BIPOC farmers who are paired with land through loan-not-debt financing will receive ongoing support, such as legal support, assistance implementing new regenerative practices or renewable energy, and long-term estate planning.

WE'RE RAISING $100 MILLION TO SUPPORT GENUINE LAND SECURITY FOR BIPOC FARMERS.

COMPLETED LAND PROJECTS IN 2022:

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RURAL BEACON INITIATIVE

Rural Beacon Initiative (RBI) works to advance community ownership in the new clean energy economy. Founded by environmental/climate justice scholar and advocate William Barber III, RBI believes that bridging climate investment and social equity starts with creating model communities that are replicable, scalable, and address the urgent climate and social issues of our time.

They're kickstarting this work at Vera Brown Farm (renamed
Free Union Farms), a 52-acre parcel of land in a historic freedmen's community in an economically distressed region of eastern North Carolina. Under RBI's management, it will become a multi-phase, multi-enterprise sustainability hub that demonstrates renewable energy, regenerative agricultural practices, and increases regional food access.

Foodshed Capital partnered with Croatan Institute to develop an innovative, integrated financing model that pairs low-cost financing with a loan guarantee and philanthropic support. In March of 2022, the partnership successfully financed the $125,000 purchase of the land with a 0% interest loan, and in May 2022, Rural Beacon broke ground on the project.

The Southeastern United States, and rural communities in particular, are too often hotbeds of poverty, environmental disaster, and economic disinvestment. This project is our attempt to stand in the gap and help create a new direction." - William Barber III

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BUTTS BROS FARM

Foodshed Capital supported Justin Butts, a certified chef, Navy veteran, and diversified livestock farmer with his dream to own land. In partnership with a group of funding partners, a loan participation agreement and a 0% loan from Foodshed Capital financed the purchase of Justin's 100+ acre homestead in New York state. His goal is to create a holistic farm, food, and value-added enterprise that can also serve as a BIPOC and veteran farmer incubator and community space.

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PETERSBURG COMMUNITY FARM

In partnership with the Central Virginia Agrarian Commons, Foodshed Capital made land security possible for Tyrone Cherry III and Duron Chavis, BIPOC leaders working near Richmond, VA to tackle food insecurity and provide young and beginning BIPOC farmers with space to learn and grow. 0% financing and support with a coalition of partners secured a 99-year lease on 5 acres of urban farmland, ensuring the land will never be bought or sold again.

INTERESTED IN PROVIDING LAND SECURITY FOR BIPOC FARMERS?

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