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Loans and Guarantees to Sustainable Farming Cooperatives in the United States

The dominance of Big Ag in the United States makes it difficult for local farmers to build financially viable small-scale, sustainable crop and livestock businesses.

Heifer Impact Capital has made a number of investments in businesses supported by Heifer International in the United States. Heifer Impact Capital provided a $600,000 direct loan to Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative with 3% interest to be paid over six years to improve meat processing facilities at a site owned by Natural State Processing Company — a joint venture between Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative and Cypress Valley Meat Company.

Heifer Impact Capital also guaranteed a $600,000 loan made to Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative by a local financial institution to purchase 49% interest in Cypress Valley Meat Company. This transaction provided a key link in the meat processing value chain, making cost-effective, independent processing available to small-scale farmers for the first time.

With this support from Heifer Impact Capital, Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative projects over $12 million in sales in 2020, mostly through its e-commerce platform, along with farmer payments of approximately $3.9 million.