The Plan

Poudre Valley Community Farms is, at its core, a land cooperative.  By harnessing the power of member-owner investment and combining it with creative financing techniques such as conservation easements and community partnerships the cooperative buys and owns farmland.  The cooperative leases long-term to local farmers and ranchers at competitive market rates.

Motivations & Benefits

The following benefits are illustrative, actual cooperative member benefits are still under development.

Member-owners value:
  • Land conservation and local food production
  • Access to sources of fresh, local food
  • Agricultural heritage
  • Supporting the local economy
Member-owners receive:
  • Ownership (fractional) in farm or ranch land
  • Voting rights for PVCF governance
  • Preferred access to PVCF tenant farm and ranch products and services (e.g. discounts on local produce, early CSA subscriptions)
  • Dividends based on food purchased from PVCF producers (or level of investment)
  • Annual farm dinner, farm visits, and other local food and community events.
Farmers & ranchers value:
  • Affordable access to land without sinking all their money into ownership
  • Stable long-term leases that allow for investment in farm infrastructure
  • Opportunity to build more equity in farm business and through traditional personal savings – avoids concentrating the farmer’s assets in the land
  • Preservation of agricultural heritage
Farmers & ranchers receive:
  • Ownership (fractional) in farm or ranch land
  • Voting rights for PVCF governance
  • Long-term, market-rate lease
  • Access to the coop community for marketing farm and ranch products
  • Group purchase of services for producers (e.g. insurance, seeds, etc.)
Community-at-large values:
  • Land conservation and local food production
  • Regional food security
  • Agricultural heritage
  • Supporting the local economy
  • Becoming a center for innovation in farmland transition and ownership
  • Benefits that persist beyond the term of single farm operation as the land passes to future tenants for ongoing food production

 

A Multi-stakeholder Cooperative

The vehicle for achieving PVCF’s mission is a multi-stakeholder cooperative.  First, let’s consider the more familiar but less important parts of PVCF.  Think of a traditional consumer cooperative, like a food co-op, where consumers pool their buying power to purchase products at better prices.  Now think of a traditional producer cooperative, like most farmers’ cooperatives, that pool buying power and access to distributors and consumers to benefit the producer.  Now put the two together and you have an understanding of the LESS important parts of PVCF.

Now consider the third, and MOST important, part of the PVCF cooperative model.  The consumers and the producers contribute capital through their membership dues which is used to purchase farmland.  The long-term access to farmland to produce food is the key to this land cooperative model.

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Funding Land Purchases

The funding sources for PVCF projects are not limited to only the membership dues of our member-owners.  For each project, PVCF explores a wide variety of funding sources to ensure the success of the land purchase.

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Timeline

PVCF plans to purchase its first property in 2017.  The conservation easement and fundraising processes are well underway.