MFT Mission Protect Farmland Support Farmers Advance Farming
What MFT does: Farmland Protection easements, BPS, TA and grants to land trusts Farmland Access FarmLink, Maine Farms Realty Farm Viability Business planning, local markets, shared equipment Outreach & Education events, books, films, gallery, municipal support
Use of Slow Money Farmland Protection – primary source of capital for Buy/Protect/Sell (BPS) projects Farm Viability – funds for select projects or farms Limited to date. NOT a loan program
Buy/Protect/Sell (BPS) Buy vulnerable farmland Protect it with a easement Sell it to a farmer at “farmland price” Funding needs – “filling the gap” (between costs and revenue) – Working capital (to buy properties) MFT uses slow money for working capital
Slow Money investment in BPS Total funds: $3,857,000 Source: Institutions and Individuals Range: $50,000 to $1.4 million Rates: 0% to 5% (but usually 2-3%) Focus: project-based and revolving pool Term: usually 3 years
Investment Impacts 26 projects 8,779 acres protected 37 farmers accessed more affordable land
Slow Money Investment in Farm Viability Projects Total funds: $175,000 Source: Individuals Range: $25,000 to $50,000 Rates: 2-3% Focus: specific to a farm or project Term: 2-5 years
Investment Impacts 3 projects (all still ongoing) Too soon to determine impacts NOTE: MFT does not (at present) have a loan program. Rather, we try at times to channel investments to farms or projects with which we are working.
That’s what we’ve done. What do we want to do? More of the same, plus… mortgage financing.
Big Need: Farm Mortgages MFT has provided some limited financing for buying farms, but can’t do much and can’t do anything long-term. What’s needed: – Investors who will loan for long periods (10 yrs?) – Significant funds ($10 million+) – Ability to originate and service mortgages (possible role for new credit union)