Sep 20, 2023
Transitioning to organic? This webinar’s for you

As part of USDA’s Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP), Compass Natural’s Focus on the Farmer educational series will offer a free webinar to support farmers transitioning to organic.

The Sept. 28 webinar, the second in a series of four events hosted by Compass Natural in 2023, will gather top experts in organic agriculture, investment and finance to discuss investment, loan and funding opportunities for transitional and organic farmers, including government and grant programs to help cover the costs of transition and obtaining organic certification.

Organic Transition webinarThe webinar, titled “Where’s the Money?” will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon Mountain Daylight Time. Registration is free, and all registrants will receive a copy of the speakers’ presentations and a link to the video recording.

Scheduled panelists are:

  • Jayce Hafner, co-founder and CEO of FarmRaise. Hafner grew up on a small livestock farm. She created FarmRaise to provide “farmer-friendly financial tools” and to help find funding and grants to support the transition to organic agriculture and more. Tracking tax and carbon credits, USDA grants and other programs, FarmRaise keeps farmers apprised of funding opportunities and helps them manage their business and finances.
  • Brandon Welch, co-founder and CEO of Mad Capital, which provides customized loans and financing created for transitioning, organic and regenerative farmers. Replacing traditional loans and farm debt with capital that enables the transition to organic, Welch is working to regenerate land at scale by providing long-term and tailor-fit credit to help farmers navigate the challenges of transitioning. He has experience in underwriting, credit, raising private funds, portfolio management and business building.
  • Emma Fuller, co-founder of Fractal Ag, which invests alongside farmers by taking passive, minority stakes in land that farmers already own. Farmers receive needed capital to invest in their operations, while investors access high-quality farmland that remains in the hands of the farmer. Farmers decide how to use the capital to best grow their business. Fractal discounts the cost of capital for farmers who have introduced regenerative practices, regardless of when they adopted them.

Mark Retzloff, former president of the Organic Trade Association and co-founder of Horizon Organic Dairy, Greenmont Capital Partners and Alfalfa’s Market, will co-moderate the panel with Steven Hoffman, founder of Compass Natural and a former Peace Corps volunteer and USDA agriculture extension agent.

“Our ultimate goal is to support and educate farmers during their journey to organic certification,” Hoffman said in a news release. “Financing is inevitably a top concern and we are thrilled to have such seasoned leaders sharing information with farmers and producers to help them navigate the process.”

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