Farm Steward Steward Lending LLC
- Date Posted May 17, 2019
- Location Anywhere
- Category Agriculture / Business
- Job type Freelance
Steward is the world’s first crowdfarming platform™. We provide financing to small and mid-size sustainable farmers through online, crowdfunded investments. Unlike traditional funding models, this creates a win-win for both farmers and sustainability-minded investors: farmers get the land and equipment they need and investors earn a return on their money with the added ROI of knowing their funding supports a sustainable and regenerative food system. Ultimately, this network of beneficial relationships translates to healthy profit for investors, farmers, and the land they steward.
Our work allows Steward-backed farmers to focus their energy on the most important part of the process—making sure their actions produce high-quality products while enhancing the health of their farm ecosystem.
As our farm partners grow, their businesses increase in value and profit, allowing farmers to pay back the loan they used to purchase land or equipment, with interest.
We are fully committed to building and supporting profitable businesses. But our end goal is more ambitious than that. We are supporting a world-changing movement. Food has always been part of what defines human culture. What communities grow, and how they grow it, says a lot about who they are and what they value. Our current industrial food system displays a cultural obsession with speed, convenience, and consistency, often obtained at the expense of taste, sustainability, health, community, and connection.
Steward is a response to a global awakening to a better way—a desire to connect more closely to our food that transcends borders and backgrounds.
Of course, changing a global food system is no simple task. The farmers dedicating their lives to what Mark Shepard calls “restoration agriculture” face a host of challenges: climate uncertainty, regulatory restrictions, centuries of soil degradation, and pressure to grow big rather than right. At Steward, we know that even a small investment can change farms and communities. While we can’t eliminate all the challenges facing these farmers, we can alleviate one major concern: funding. By providing the resources needed to secure that extra acre, tractor, or talented set of hands, we are helping secure a future in which the next generation (ideally the next seven generations) will be able to eat healthier, grow more resiliently, and flourish with the lands they call home. You can learn more about some of the thinkers and agriculturalists that shaped our worldview here.
In a sustainable agricultural system, there is no isolation. Interdependence is the name of the game. Healthy soils lead to healthy crops, farmers, communities, and economies. Steward exists to strengthen these relationships by building partnerships that not only benefit ourselves, but also the farmers who pour their hearts into growing exceptional products and restoring their land. When these farms thrive, we all reap the benefits.
The impacts of a disconnect from our food and our earth extend far beyond the dinner table. That disconnect alters the way we interact with each other and our surroundings. As we strive to restore that relationship, we envision stronger communities, a healthier environment, inclusive economic development, and a renewed sense of purpose for all involved.
We understand these are lofty goals, but that’s why we’re not trying to achieve them alone.
Committed visionaries grow and manage the farms we partner with. Our Farm Stewards—sustainable agriculture experts—visit each project to evaluate the land, market, practices, and underlying business. Every member of our staff has personal ties to small-scale agriculture that fuels their work each and every day. Our investors have an eye to the future and want their dollars to make a long-lasting impact while earning a healthy return.
At Steward, we want farmers who grow great products in a life-giving manner to flourish. We are committed to providing access to the financial capital that makes that possible, but we're also finding that the farmers we partner with need help with other aspects of their business, such as bookkeeping, website development, regulatory applications, and research. We expect to offer even more services as we grow with our farm partners.
f you believe true security is found where the bull market meets the farmer’s market—in diversity, community, and interdependence, then we want you with us on this journey.
If you want to go far, go together.
Introducing Steward. The first platform for small-to-mid sized sustainable farmers to raise financing online through crowdfunding - we call it Crowdfarming! It’s a win-win for both farmers and sustainability-minded investors. Farmers get the land and equipment they need. Investors earn a return on their money with the added ROI of knowing their funding made a positive impact. In this sense, we can all be stewards through our actions and participation in this movement.
By definition, to be a “steward” of something is to be the one entrusted with caring for it and looking after its best interests. We believe small, sustainable farmers make the best stewards of the land, because their farming practices and business models are in harmony with the earth and the well being of the communities they serve.
The Farm Steward team taps into the expertise of the sustainable agriculture community. Farm Stewards bring expertise in specific types of farming and ranching to help Steward evaluate and service projects. Farm Stewards assist farmers in achieving success and become a part of a community with a strong commitment to sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
Overview: Farm Stewards are consultants for Steward Lending LLC. They assist in the review of farm projects as part of Steward's loan application process. Farm Stewards will help farmers develop and refine farm plans and may retain an ongoing relationship including an annual review and quarterly check-ins. Steward targets diversified, sustainable farms in agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry.
- Coordinate with Steward's lead Farm Stewards for your country or region
- Review applications, farm plans, and other information from farmers, based upon Steward's templates.
- Conduct phone calls with farmers to review each project.
- Provide feedback to farmers and help them refine their project plan.
- Make in person farm visits, as appropriate.
- Write a summary analysis of the project and approve (i.e., pre-qualify) once the candidate has demonstrated and documented a viable business model and an appropriate funding request.
- Provide follow up support and conduct quarterly check-ins and annuals reviews of funded projects
- Communicate through online communication systems such as slack, zoom, and the Steward website.
- 7+ years of farming experience
- Have owned and operated their own farm
- General understanding of a variety of farm enterprises (fruits & vegetables, livestock, etc.)
- Detailed knowledge of regional agricultural markets, marketing channels, pricing and farm operating costs
- Well versed in local farmer resources
- Able to work 5-10 hours per week
- Experience with or willingness to learn the following technology: Slack, Timely, Hubspot, Zoom and Google drive.
- Based in Colorado or Texas. Farm Stewards are based all over the country and are needed in these regions.
- Hourly. Rate negotiable but normally between $30-50 per hour.