The following reports were produced by The Carrot Project or we were primary authors in a collaborative effort.
The Carrot Project’s NESARE-funded study Measuring Profitability and Success showed that financial management skills and net farm income can increase when a farm partners with a business advisor and has access to financing over a two-year period. The Carrot Project and its partners (see below) provided 23 farmers with business and financial management technical assistance and/or financing over a two-year period. We focused on enterprise development to improve net farm income and help farmers reach their business goals, while tracking qualitative and quantitative changes in each farm. We showed that participating farms improved their financial management skills; moreover, building these skills and the resulting increased confidence are important to giving farmers the tools they need to reach their farms’ goals –– both quality of life and financial. Participants saw an average increase of 52% in net income over two years, and 55% of the participants saw a 142% increase in net farm income. We detail the results of this project in an upcoming report, with examples of our work in the four accompanying case studies.
North 30 Company
This report focuses on Case Studies and Lessons Learned in 2009 and 2010 from our operation of three loan programs in different states. The programs’ shared goal is provision of financing to small and midsized start-up farms and expanding farm businesses with limited or no access to capital. Loans were made to a diverse group of farmers, and some were supported with business planning or financial management services.Download a copy of Setting Up Farmer Microloans in Three States.
This report describes the changes in the credit market in recent years, and how these changes have negatively impacted small armers. It also describes the capacity of small farmers as borrowers and makes recommendations to address related issues. The report is based on a presentation by John Moukad, a community develoment finance expert and a member of The Carrot Project Advisory Board. Download a copy of Small Farms in a Changing Credit Landscape.
In this paper, we discuss what we learned — in speaking with farmers (those who applied and those who decided not to), The Carrot Project Loan Review Committee members, members of our Program Oversight Committee, and Chittenden Bank (now People’s United Bank) — in our effort to understand what improvements could be made to our first loan program once the initial round of funding was completed. Download a copy of Lessons Learned: 2009 Microloan Fund for New England Farmers.
The Carrot Project created, tested, and implemented the Farmers’ Financing Needs Assessment to gain a better understanding of the financing obstacles facing small and midsized farms. The survey portion of the assessment was completed by 706 farmers in New York and the New England states. The information gained from this survey and related focus groups has guided the development of our work. This report answers questions such as what type of farmer is unable to find adequate financing, and what type of lending options and equity funding would be appropriate for such operations. Download a copy of Are Northeast Small Farmers in a Financing Fix?
Strengthening Metrics and Expanding Capital Access (2012)
Financing Farming in the U.S. (FFUS) is a project designed to help increase the flow of capital into the small-and-midscale farming sector. Susan Coccarreli of Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems, Patty Cantrell of Regional Food Solutions LLC, Denise Dukette of New England Bank, Gray Harris of Coastal Enterprises Inc., and our own Dorothy Suput co-authored this, the group's second report. It looks at successful lending practices among Community Development Financial Institutions and their strategic partners, and also summarizes steps that can be taken toward expanding capital flowing into the sector. Download the report from MSU's website.
Financing Farming in the U.S. discusses (1) the reasons for the chasm between an emerging sector of smaller-scale agricultural producers and access to capital, and (2) workable strategies to create successful farmer-lender relationships. This effort was organized by The C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University (MSU) and The Carrot Project. Download a copy of Financing Farming in the U.S.
The Carrot Project helped to develop training chapters for this curriculum, in collaboration with Financing Farming in the US. Click to download them in PDF format:
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