News releases from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Posted By: Jeannette E. Warnert
- Written by: Brenda Dawson, (530) 752-7779, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 14, 2011
Woody Tasch, the founder of Slow Money, will speak on “Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Matter” Sept. 20 in Davis, at an event organized by the UC Small Farm Program.
The talk, along with introductions, Q&A and light refreshments, will be 4 – 6 p.m. at the Rominger West Winery, 4602 Second St. in Davis. Tickets are $10, and reservations are available online at http://ucanr.org/slowmoney.
Slow Money is a national network dedicated to investing in local food and agricultural enterprises.
“We often hear about ‘voting with your dollar’ when it comes to supporting small-scale farmers and local food,” said Shermain Hardesty, Cooperative Extension economist in the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resources Economics. “Shopping at a farmers market or becoming a CSA member are ways to support small-scale farms as a consumer, but Slow Money can be a way to invest in them.”
One local venture which has sought funding through Slow Money is the Capay Valley Farm Shop, a collaborative of 30 farms and ranches who together offer a CSA to institutions and corporations.
“Through Slow Money, we’re reaching investors who share our values, who believe that community food systems are a great investment for the health of communities and for the planet,” said Thomas Nelson, president of Capay Valley Farm Shop.
After presenting at an entrepreneur showcase this summer, the Capay Valley Farm Shop is working with a group of interested investors through Slow Money.
Another agricultural venture, Soul Food Farm in Vacaville, has also worked with Slow Money investors, receiving approximately $40,000 in loans.
“This model is another way that entrepreneurs in sustainable agriculture and community food systems can seek funding—especially when conventional sources such as venture capital, the Farm Credit System or commercial banks may not be an option,” Hardesty said.
The event will include a brief introduction to current UC Davis research on values-based food systems by Hardesty and Gail Feenstra, of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute. Values-based food systems create relationships between growers, funders, distributors, consumers and others based on shared values. Their project is working to identify bottlenecks—including access to capital—in the development of these values-based food supply chains, with an eye toward the enhancing the prosperity of smaller producers through networks that support environmental and social sustainability. This research is part of a USDA-funded, multi-state project, along with researchers at Colorado State University and Portland State University.
The event is sponsored by the Davis Food Co-op, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and the Giannini Foundation.
More details and ticket reservations for this event are available at http://ucanr.org/slowmoney.