Accredited Investors Only
A message from CEO and Co-Founder, David Miller:
Just as our farmers are selective about the seeds they plant, our company has always been selective about the members it chooses. Not only must they be accredited investors (defined below), but they must be committed to retaining their capital for the long term. We have always said, it is easier for the farmer to transition the land, than it is for the company to transition membership capital. Consequently, in our first seven years, we accepted only 100 new members. As a certified B Corporation, committed to values beyond just economic gain, we are proud to say that all of these legacy members are still with the company. They have helped us to define the term “sustainable capital”.
Our members are supportive of the business premise that over the long term, farmers growing healthy soils and foods and using organic practices will provide superior financial, social and environmental returns. After seven years of building this company, we are fundamentally convinced of the viability of this strategic plan and have seen patient membership rewarded for their visionary support. Our accredited membership now spans 26 states including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Washington, Michigan, Ohio, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, California, Oregon, South Carolina, North Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, Colorado, Massachusetts, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, Iowa and Washington D.C. We purposely seek broad member participation — as we also broadly diversify our farm holdings in new locations.
Meeting the growing consumer demand for healthy and nutritionally rich foods is going to require a lot more acreage in local and organic production. From the beginning we have facilitated the use of self-directed IRA and pension accounts to help fund this growth. In fact, this company was initially capitalized with rollover IRA funds. Approximately 30 percent of new and existing capital is derived from such retirement sources. Such long term capital foundationally supports our goal of providing generational leases for our farm tenants, and thereby sustaining profitability over the long term.
To realize our generational goals, we will continue to build secondary markets to support member unit liquidity and growth. Sustainable capital must be renewable, not unlike the perennial pasture and wind energy reflected in the picture above. Our strategic plan to renew our “grass roots” membership capital includes the following:
- Encouraging broad ownership with reasonable entry levels;
- New redemption features — in place for the first time in 2014;
- Listing membership units on impact investing networks (Global Impact Investing Network, Impact Assets, etc.);
- Participating in accredited investor organizations;
- Publishing our ratings on our impact performance (B Corp and Global Impact Investment Rating Service);
- Scaling our business and diversifying in new locations;
- Focusing on the next generation — our young farmers — and growing our Young Farmer Land Access Program;
- Building relationships with IRA custodians and financial advisory professionals that support alternative investments;
- Connecting more family foundations and family offices with family farmers. This is a natural connection that we support with corporate risk management, farm diversification and liquidity.
While our intention is to have a broad membership base, under current securities law, prospective members in the company are strictly limited to persons who are “Accredited Investors” (defined below) and satisfy the requirements and make the representations pursuant to a Subscription Agreement and an Investor Questionnaire.
A prospective member (individual) must meet one or more of the following tests in order to qualify as an Accredited Investor:
- Any natural person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person’s spouse, at the time of purchase, exceeds $1,000,000. For purposes of calculating net worth the person’s primary residence shall not be included as an asset.
- Any natural person who had an individual income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with that person’s spouse in excess of $300,000 in each of those years and who has a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year;
- Any director or executive officer, or general partner of the issuer of the securities being sold.
Prospective members should consult their own independent counsel, accountant or financial advisor as to legal, tax and related matters concerning subscription.