The Trust has made loans to the following farms:
The Trust makes loans to Steward farmers.
The Trust receives interest payments from farmers which it distributes to investors as dividends.
The Trust is open to investment to U.S. residents except for those living in FL, NE, ND and WA.
Investors are free of any further capital commitments beyond their initial investment.
For the last half-century, big has been the gospel of conventional agriculture. In the 1970’s, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz started telling farmers to “get big, or get out.” Farm sizes ballooned, the number of hands on the land continued a decades-long decline, and agricultural diversity took a nosedive. In the name of efficiency, agriculture was reverse engineered and many problems—expensive fossil fuel inputs, fragile monocultures that threaten biodiversity, runoff of excess nutrients, and waste production—were created from the wreckage of a holistic system.
This is farming as we know it—high input, high mileage, high debt, high stress.
Steward exists to provide financial backing for those farming our future. We want these farmers to write a new narrative for the next 50 years and have the resources they need to grow when they are ready. After all, regenerative agriculture doesn’t mean small or stagnant. To borrow Aristotle’s description of virtue, it means pursuing growth “to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way.”
Steward Farm Trust provides investment to small and medium-sized sustainable farmers who are ready to improve or expand production. Our Farm Stewards visit potential projects in-person to evaluate the land, market, practices, and business plan. When a project receives the green light, Steward provides the financial capital these farmers need to rightsize their operation.
Unlike some partnerships, where investors own land for farmers to use, with Steward farmers always maintain land ownership. This ensures independence and commitment to long-term health.
The Steward Farm Trust owns a portfolio of loans made to these farmers. The exchange is simple: as farmers successfully grow their business and profits, they pay back the loans with interest, yielding dividends to investors. Everyone involved profits, setting up the holistic cycle to begin again.
“We really wanted to change the way people think about urban agriculture and see that you can actually have a profitable business and do something that’s sustainable in an urban setting.”— ACRE Farm, Detroit, MI
In biological terms, symbiotic refers to a mutually beneficial relationship. The word literally translates to “life together.”
By growing food, fiber, and medicine in and for their local communities, Steward farmers are fostering life—together. Like the products they grow, their business dollars make a positive impact on their neighbors.
This is the scale of sustainability.
“My vision isn’t to do all this myself. Whatever we do for stewardship has to be fitting into the whole system of our community.”— Shangri-La, Seaside, OR
Regenerative agriculture means expensive and destructive fossil fuel inputs and synthetic chemicals are out. Composting waste into soil, encouraging beneficial insects, rotating diverse crops, improving soil microbiology, and adding organic matter is in.
Steward backs farmers who know their places. They work with natural systems to improve and restore the land that sustains their livelihood. Unlike what we’ve come to know as “conventional agriculture,” practicing regenerative agriculture means the longer Steward farmers are on their land, the healthier and more productive it becomes.
“I’m adding to the land. I’m improving soil.”— Iverstine Farm, Kentwood, LA
Better inputs and better practices translate to better food. Organic and regenerative practices support naturally resilient plants and animals and nutrient-dense foods. Fewer food miles traveled means less cost, less waste, and more security—for farmers, investors, and consumers.
“We harvest in the morning, it’s at a restaurant that afternoon, and on your plate that same night.— ACRE Farm, Detroit, MI
Though Steward represents the world’s first Crowdfarming platform, our framework is really just agriculture as it was always meant to be—interdependent community investment in humans and ecosystems. Together with investors and farmers, we are putting the pieces of a broken system back together.
As farmers grow natural products their markets demand, in a manner that improves soil health, they are able to profit without accruing crushing debt, and investors receive a healthy return on their investment.
Earn a return—align it with your values. We call it Crowdfarming, but you might just call it common sense.
“It comes down to, what kind of world do you want to see?”— George Farm, Jacksonville, OR