US farmland impact investment firm opens $20m fundraise

Iroquois Valley Farms, a socially responsible farmland company, is raising the capital across both equity and debt in its fourth year of fundraising.

Iroquois Valley Farms, an organic farmland and impact investment company, is raising $20 million across equity and debt to invest into a diversified portfolio of farms, according to a Form D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some $15 million will be offered in equity and the remainder in debt.

The portfolio currently consists of 24 farms but will soon also include a 177-acre farm in New York state that is expected to close in the next two-to-three weeks, according to Kevin Egolf, managing director of Iroquois.

The portfolio has received interest from two investors already, according to Egolf, who also told Agri Investor that was targeting a range of institutional investors, foundations and high net worth individuals.

“This new offering demonstrates our commitment to raising impact investing capital through the private market. The no-fee structure is great for the growing networks of fee-based and fee-only financial advisors and the demand for socially responsible investment options,” Egolf commented in a statement.

This is the company’s fourth investment offering in as many years; it raised $9 million in 2014, $3.5 million in 2013 and $4 million in multiple offerings previously.

Iroquois is a certified “B Corp”, which is the equivalent of a Fair Trade certification for businesses, according to the B Corporation website. And the company aims to positively impact the next generation of farmers in the US through its focus on financial stability, environmental health and a generational commitment to supporting family farmers, according to its website.

“Coming off of a very successful 2014, we are excited to expand our offering so as to regenerate even more soil and enable more farmers to build a sustainable farm business,” David Miller, co-founder and chief executive, wrote in a statement.

Iroquois’s 2014 offering was split between $6 million in equity and $3 million in debt, whereas the 2013 deal was 100 percent equity, according to Egolf.

“Formed in 2007, Iroquois Valley Farms was the first socially responsible farmland company in the United States focused on supporting sustainable food production and the mid-size family farmer,” reads the website. “Iroquois Valley Farms is committed to preserving farmland, facilitating organic land management practices, supporting local food markets, providing land access opportunities to family farmers and creating values-based agriculture investment opportunities.”