Steward, the world’s first crowdfarming platform, is supporting small sustainable farms and farmers in the US to gain access to the resources they require while enabling people to invest in sustainable farms.
Unlike traditional funding methods, Steward’s crowdfarming model creates a win-win for both farmers and investors. Farms are able to purchase the land and equipment they need, and individuals earn a return while supporting regenerative agriculture.
Steward helps regenerative farmers secure the capital they need to grow their enterprise with tailored loans funded through their crowdfarming investment model.
Steward has invested more than $2.2 million in 16 farms to date. Farmers that are benefitting from these investments include Fisheye Farms, an urban farm in Detroit; Beiler’s Heritage Acres, a certified organic grain and dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; and Iverstine Family Farms, a sustainable pastured livestock farm in Kentwood, Louisiana.
Fisheye Farms utilises natural and sustainable practices to grow produce, herbs and flowers for area restaurants, farmers markets and neighbours. With the loan received from Steward, the owners were able to purchase land and significantly increase the farm’s size, as well as establish a hoophouse, packhouse and needed utilities. As a result, they have rapidly increased their sales and are working with many new restaurants in the area.
Beiler’s Heritage Acres is run by Amish farmer Omar Beiler. The co-op that purchased his milk went out of business, so he had no outlet for his dairy. Steward funded the purchase of new equipment so Omar Beiler could make butter, yogurt, cream and other dairy products, which he is now selling directly to markets and restaurants including chef Spike Gjerde’s Woodberry Kitchen.
Iverstine Family Farms was able to use its loan from Steward to purchase new cattle and pigs to help scale up the farm’s business, and significantly improve its cash flow.
Steward was founded by Dan Miller, whose maternal family have been farming on the Eastern Shore of Maryland since the 1880s. Steward CEO Dan Miller said: ”
“The Steward model gives the power back to the people while revitalizing farm economies, restoring native ecosystems, and making fresh food more accessible to everyone.
“Access to capital is a critical problem that limits farmers, but for every farm in need of funding, there are many supporters ready to invest. We created Steward as a platform for individuals to invest directly in sustainable farms, knowing their dollars will earn a return while making a positive impact.”
Image Source: Steward
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com