Iverstine Family Farms is a diversified, pasture based livestock operation which produces pasture hogs, pasture poultry, and 100% grass fed beef.
100% of $238,507
Meet the Farmers
Galen Iverstine,COO of Iverstine Family Farms, graduated from LSU with a degree in political science in 2009. His introduction to the impact of the industrialized food system led him to explore alternatives capable of restoring America’s small scale farm economies. After completing an internship on a farm in New Hampshire, Galen and his father Jack purchased 65 acres in St. Helena Parish in Kentwood, LA in 2010. When Galen secured a house on the property and two pigs, Iverstine Family Farms was born.
After “retiring” from their respective careers, Jack and Brenda Iverstine, owner and CFO of Iverstine Family Farms, have combined to start seven different businesses. When Galen pitched the idea of Iverstine Family Farms to his parents, they were excited to reconnect with their family’s agricultural roots. They provided the initial funding and Brenda helps manage the farm finances.
Through several land purchases, the Iverstines expanded the farm to 130 acres, and in 2016 they started Iverstine Farms Butcher in Baton Rouge—the city’s only whole animal butcher. Owning and operating their own smokehouse and butcher allows IFF to manage all elements of production and eliminate costly middlemen.
Reason for Loan
With 130 acres of land and a strong infrastructure in place to get their products to market, the Iverstines were set up for success. However, “Our struggle for the last two years,” Galen describes, “is our fixed costs are the same whether we’re running 10 cows or 100 cows.” Financing from Steward was used to purchase more livestock to populate those pastures as well as invest in additional infrastructure to support increased production—new fencing, poultry processing equipment, and refrigeration.“Steward is allowing us to pull equity out of land in order to get the farm firing on all cylinders,” Galen explains.
Current inspection requirements limit the amount of wholesaling IFF can do. In the future, they hope to develop another facility that would meet inspection requirements for wholesaling to restaurants and grocers. This facility would provide a welcome opportunity to co-op with other regenerative farms. Individually these farms do not operate on a large enough scale to supply grocery stores, but under a collaborative label they would together be able to meet supply chain needs.
Iverstine Family Farms also recently started a subscription service which includes home delivery, a large revenue generator that was supported by Steward funds.
Sustainable Agriculture Practices
Managed Intensive Rotational Grazing builds soil and breaks pest cycles
High animal welfare standards are upheld
IFF livestock are not treated with growth promoters or hormones
Livestock enjoys diets of grass and high-grade animal feed
Silvopasture projects restore woodland health
Open door policy means no certifications needed
In-house processing committed to total carcass utilization (the ultimate way to respect an animal’s life is to not waste any part)
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