Riffle Farms is seeking to refinance several traditional loans into one Steward loan to alleviate constraints for growth.
Funded on 11/13/2023
Liz Riffle, and her husband Jimmie, are American heroes. Serving in trauma units as nurses in the US Navy, both Liz and Jimmie spent years caring for the disastrously wounded soldiers in—and coming home from—Iraq and Afghanistan. Through that hard and necessary work, they learned the terrible price of war and the preciousness of each peaceful moment.
After her military career, Liz left nursing. Intent on creating a more peaceful and meaningful life for herself and her future family, Liz found 64-acres of rolling farmland in West Virginia and turned her talents for healing from soldiers to land.
With a love of big creatures since childhood, and a desire to produce highly-nutritious food from the land, Liz saw an inspired opportunity to launch the first commercial bison ranch in West Virginia—Riffle Farms.
Since 2017, Riffle Farms has been serving the local community with nutrient-dense, grass-fed, grass-finished bison that has been holistically-managed to ensure the ecological abundance of the landscape. Riffle Farms is now home to a bison herd that ranges between 30 to 40 animals. And, considering the unusual livestock roaming in a beautiful setting, it’s easy to see why Riffle Farms is a popular agritourism destination.
The American bison is a majestic creature with a tragic history. In the late 18th century more than 60 million American bison roamed this continent—from California through Washington D.C. By 1889, the population had been reduced to just 541 animals. Today, with help from ranchers and ecological stewards like Liz, the American bison population has climbed back up to more than 30,000.
We’re proud to support Liz and the stewardship, healing, and preservation she is doing on Riffle Farms.
In an effort to better organize the farm’s debt load, Riffle Farms is seeking to refinance all outstanding business debt into one loan with Steward. This refinance process will also transition more assets into the farm business and put the farm into a stronger financial position for growth.
Riffle Farms is committed to raising honest, transparent, and sustainable meat. Their land management is aligned with the principles of regenerative agriculture, and include:
Holistic Planned Grazing—implemented by Liz, a Savory Institute Holistic Management Accredited Professional;
Purchasing grass-fed animals and raising bison 100% grass-fed and finished without the addition of synthetic inputs. Bison roam the land and are rotated—as dictated by their monitoring and holistic grazing plan—to improve soil health and encourage strong ecological function across all grazing land;
Emphasizing animal welfare and cultivating peaceful, natural conditions for their animals up until the very end of their lives—when they are field harvested;
Sharing information on regenerative agriculture and the extensive history of how bison shaped the land ecology;
Testing soils on a rotational basis for soil fertility and maximum nutritional quality;
Maintaining native plants and grasses, and tracking the biodiversity of plants, birds, bees, insects, and other beneficial species in partnership with the Savory Institute Holistic Management and Ecological Outcome Verification Hub Robinia Institute and Metamorphic Ecological Research and Consulting.
We call the bison “buffs” here at Riffle Farms, our farm T-shirts actually have the slogan “I Like Big Buffs” on the back! And we so appreciate everyone who has taken their time and their money to put towards our regenerative efforts! Come see us in WV if you happen to be in the area, FREE TOURS for y’all!
I’ve also had a few questions about opening up our farm to veterans needing training, and we actually do this through the military SkillBridge program. I have two active duty ladies currently working with us who are transitioning out of the military and want to explore careers in agriculture.
Thank you again, Happy Holidays, and be sure to check us out sometime :)
This loan will be made to Riffle Farms, a West Virginia Limited Liability Company, which raises, processes and distributes regeneratively raised, grass-fed bison and associated products.
This loan will be used to refinance existing debt secured by the company’s land, equipment and livestock, the loan will also fund all closing costs and fees, including a 6 month interest reserve..
The total loan amount is $599,900.00 which will allow Riffle to consolidate all of its financing with Steward and provide Riffle Farms with a mission-aligned financing partner. Steward and Riffle have an existing Lender/Borrower relationship and Riffle’s experience with their other lender prompted their desire for this consolidation and refinance.
This is a secured loan with a First Priority lien on all business assets. Riffle will be contributing personally owned land to the business and the land will serve as the primary collateral for the loan. However, in order to accommodate an adequate security position for Steward, the outstanding EIDL loan will be subordinated to Steward’s loan resulting in the above mentioned first priority lien for this loan.
The borrower’s interest rate for this loan is 8.0%, with a net interest rate of 7.5% being passed on to the lender (accounting for a .5% servicing spread). The loan has a 60 month term. The first 12 months of the loan term will be interest only, with the interest due months 1-6 being funded from an interest reserve. Beginning in month 13 after loan funds are disbursed, Riffle will make partially amortized monthly principal and interest payments. The loan will amortize on a 20 year schedule with a balloon payment of $517,506.34 due at maturity.
Below is an approximate breakdown of the budget for this loan:
Refinance of Mortgage Loans: $360,000.00
Refinance of Operating Loan: $106,000.00
Refinance of Natural Capital Loan: $3,000.00
Refinance of Steward 2022 Loan: $83,000.00
Six Month Interest Reserve: $24,000.00
Closing Costs & Fees: $23,900.00
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