Update on the Loretto Investment Committee
By Kathy Wright CoL
One of the Loretto Investment Committee’s long-standing works has been impact investments and loans to non-profits whose work is closely aligned with Loretto values and priorities. It is one way to put Loretto’s money to work for mission. One example of this is an investment made a few years ago with the Iroquois Farms and Farmland REIT (real estate investment trust). Loretto invested when they were in the early stages of development and in need of funds to make loans to keep small farms in the hands of those who wanted to farm organically. They work with mission driven investors as a Public Benefit Corporation and a B Corporation. Iroquois Valley Farms has now been operating for 16 years. I recently attended the annual shareholders’ meeting via Zoom.
Iroquois Valley Farms now has over $100,000,000 in assets working in 20 states to finance small organic farms and ranches over a total of 30,000 acres. They also have programs to help small farmers transition to organic farming. They have adopted corporate ownership as the most generationally focused, indefinitely scalable and democratically governed structure suitable to its vision of permanently impacting sustainable agriculture. Among other things, this means that everyone in Iroquois Valley Farms share the benefits and risks of farming. During profitable years, farmers receive a cash benefit.
Iroquois Valley Farms believe that enabling the next generation of young organic farmers will positively impact the health of the planet and farmland, the health of people and the development of a far better and healthier food system. They understand that food is also medicine that can and should be a primary source of healthy nutrition. They know we need healthy land, soil, water and air to thrive.
They believe we only have one generation to ensure the survival of the planet by collaborating with farmers and Earth in nature-based solutions. They are now partnering with a non-profit called Healing Soils Foundation to further their work. This partnership allows more money to flow directly to small organic farmers.
To learn more go to www.iroquoisvalley.com/impact. Their 2022 Public Benefit Report is a great read.
Members of the Investment Committee are Buffy Boesen, Eleanor Craig, Kim Klein, Lillian Moskeland and Kathy Wright.