As part of the Transition Finance for Farmers series, Benedikt Bösel and Koen van Seijen discuss what it mean to truly partner with a farmer to provide a fair and skin-in-the-game transition finance investment in her or his farm to help the farm speed up the regenerative journey. They go deep into these questions with Mad Agriculture and The Perennial Fund’s Phil Taylor and Brandon Welch. Take a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy this long episode with host Koen van Seijen and co-host, Benedikt Boesel!
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
Love, Reciprocity, Compassion
Wendell Berry’s Mad Farmer Poems calls us to a radical reformation of the economy based on a set of virtues, which oftentimes is not obvious. These virtues — love, reciprocity, compassion, and radicalism — don’t guide our current financial economy and current commerce. Mad Agriculture does share these virtues and Phil and Brandon share more about this cause in this episode.
“I think what’s so beautiful about it is that the organization attracts people organically because it feels true, it feels righteous in the best sense of the word, It feels bold, ambitious. I think that that’s our essence, it’s our core, a revolution.” – Phil Taylor
Understanding The Farmer and Their Values
Phil and Brandon discuss how they are working with farmers to understand their essence and value system, before even pursuing talks about markets or the financier community. They work under a framework to reveal the value system of the farmer, such as the driving forces of to their relationship to the land.
“That allows us to more deeply co-create and empower the farmer in their place because it’s very easy for a farm planter to come in and say, “Hey, you should do all this stuff” and then you leave and you’re done. Then nothing happens. What you have to do is to get in and empower, and inspire what’s already living within them.” – Brandon Welch
Start Small and Find an Early Win
The hosts ask Brandon and Phil where they start the process of change in the field and what kind of communication or reaction comes across. Phil answered the change has to be attuned to the farmer’s appetite for change.
“The key is to start small and finding early when you really believe that, you know, taking a risk is not easy for a farmer, and with how robust the systems that currently prevail are, we’ve got to be really careful in how we disrupt them.” – Phil Taylor
More Than Just Farm Planning
Phil and Brandon narrate a number of examples of how they work with the farmer and use their full wealth of connections. What they do is not just farm planning. They do it with awareness of market farm planning, capital, community with the hopes of bringing the whole system of change to bear.
“We’ve been told for generations to do one thing and do one thing well. Specialize, be reductionistic and for that, our secret sauce is being generous. Being a community and just being free flow with all the dimensions of humanity. I mean, it’s so much fun and it’s where all the good work happens.” – Brandon Welch
More on The Perennial Fund
Phil and Brandon discuss about Mad Agriculture and The Perennial Fund. They share the current state of the company as of May 2020. You will also find in this episode a discussion about the current iteration of the product.
Pay special attention to the discussion about debt forgiveness and the flexibility profit sharing or free cash flow revenue share.
To hear more about Mad Agriculture and Perennial Fund, listen to this episode!
This is an open process, we are sharing our lessons for the podcast episodes as we go along. so please share with us any examples of transition finance you’ve seen, utter inspiration, people to interview, get in touch by the contact page.
- QA webinar link Brandon and Phil
- Mad Agriculture
- Perennial Fund
- Previous interview with Brandon Welch
- Wendell Berry Books
- Carol Sanford, The Regenerative Life
- The Regrarians and PA P.A. Yeomans Scale of Permanence
- Interview with Paul Gambill, CEO of Nori
- Interview with Gregory Landua of Regen Network
- Kernza and the Land Institute
- 8 forms of capital of Ethan soloviev
- Farmers foot print foundation of Zach Bush
- Interview with Eric Jackson about his cooperation with the Rabobank in organic transition finance
- Interview with Phil Graves of Patagonia/Thin Shed Ventures/Patagonia Provisions
- Stonebarn center for food and agriculture
For feedback, ideas, suggestions please contact us through Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.
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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.Join the Community