Iroquois Valley Farms History and Business Structure
In 2007, two former college roommates from Loyola University of Chicago, re-united to provide a solution to the ecological and economic degradation of our environment. Looking for a more sustainable answer to a broken food system and extractive economic policies, the two old friends formed Iroquois Valley Farms LLC to begin the healing process for the next generation of young farmers and responsible investors. Combining respective careers in real estate finance/banking and medicine, Mr. Miller and Dr. Rivard are proving that growing healthy food is good business.
Iroquois Valley Farms started operations in Iroquois County, Illinois as food and farmland company making impact investments in organic and local agriculture using triple bottom line principles and focusing on financial stability, environmental health and a generational commitment to support family farmers. The ownership and governance structure is unique. Iroquois Valley Farms is purposely operated as a company — not a private equity fund, limited partnership, network of angel investors, non-profit organization or a farmland brokerage company. The Company treats the production of healthy foods as a business and has formed a socially responsible impact investment company that is indefinitely scalable and responsive to the growing needs of its’ members and farmers.
Instead of being managed or controlled by one general partner or by institutional mandate, the company has a Board of Managers, elected by the voting membership, that oversees all major financial and policy decisions. Farmland is purchased with the goal of generational ownership. The primary exit is the sale of privately held shares to a growing membership base expecting to profit from the expanding market of local and organic foods.
With a solid seven year historical track record of operations and over 160 members, the foundation has been built to regenerate capital and provide for membership liquidity. The company is entering it’s third phase of growth, having completed sequential phases of transitioning the land (2007- 2010) and transitioning the capital (2011 – 2013). Starting in 2014, new redemption features will enable the regeneration of capital from the next generation of members while accelerating new farm beginnings and growth.
“Land is the only thing worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for. It’s the only thing that lasts” Gerald O’Hara speaking to his daughter Scarlett in the movie, Gone with the Wind.