John Steven Bianucci
Director of Conservation, Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT. A gifted strategist and passionate leader, John Steven has long been interested in food sovereignty, social justice, health, organic farming and agroforestry. He works to maximize the social and environmental impact of Iroquois Valley Farms. He has extensive corporate experience in branding, marketing and sales. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Bianucci has co-founded publications and been a successful independent trader and trading advisor. Computer User magazine was the country’s first regional computer publication and published monthly for 24 years. Mr. Bianucci graduated from Harvard College.
Your Financial Investment Can Reshape the Food System
"We're going to get the kind of food system we want only if we all step up."--John Steven Bianucci
We're talking about catalyzing a farm to food system vision for regenerating community health, wealth, resilience and well-being.
In this interview I talk with John Steven Bianucci, Director of Conservation for Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT. Iroquois Valley is a triple bottom line investment company that specializes in providing capital to support small family farm businesses, helping keep family farmers on the land while supporting them to transition land into organic, regenerative farming systems. A Certified B and Public Benefit (B) Corporation, Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT has adopted corporate ownership as the most generationally focused, indefinitely scalable and democratically governed structure suitable to its vision of permanently impacting sustainable agriculture. As a Real Estate Investment Trust, Iroquois Valley seeks investment capital from diverse types of investors to enable a stable and profitable return on their farming investment, while transitioning traditional capital to renewable and regenerative uses and protecting farmland for current and future generations.
John Steven talks about the exciting Conservation Innovation Grant that Iroquois Valley has secured from the USDA to create a lending instrument program that supports farmers to transition their operations from conventional farming to organic and regenerative systems.
He says the mission of this project is to increase the amount of private capital in regenerative and organic agriculture by supporting farmers with operating lines of credit to get through the difficult and potentially costly three year organic transition period. The lending capital will be generated from a $25 million offering to investors that will pay a return while supporting family farmers and ultimately rural economic development. Iroquois Valley will leverage the investment pool with matched funds.
Currently, the private investment marketplace isn't comfortable investing in local and regional food systems. In five years, with the work of organizations like Iroquois Valley and other catalytic capital, John Steven hopes that the national and regional food system will be viewed as an asset class so that investment capital flows into the farms, infrastructure, and supply chain support needed to fully develop regional and local food systems.
Ultimately, says John Steven, the marketplace is in transition and it's up to all of us to determine what kind of food system we're going to get. It will take a community of support to create a healthy system that is more resilient, localized and serves us all. You can help create this system by investing, by encouraging your local grocer to carry locally grown products, and by shopping local and directly from farmers.
Please enjoy my conversation with John Steven to learn how we can catalyze and support a regenerative farming and food system that works for everyone.
Don't forget, I’ve created a special Our Food Is Our Future Facebook Group where you can join the conversation and share your reflections, questions and ideas about creating a healthier farming and food system.
Here's to a healthier farming and food system for us all,