The Best is Yet to Come

I thought you might find this article that came out today in the Green Money Journal of interest and to reminder that our team at Sustainable Farm Partners look forward to staying in touch. There is great satisfaction in knowing you can invest profitably in a way that aligns with your personal values.

These value-based investments in organic farming come one farm at a time. Investing in our next farm opportunity, Fairfield One, is closing in six weeks.

The best is yet to come. Continue reading

The Law of Declining Marginal Returns

The Law of Declining Marginal Returns applies to all aspects of life. If you follow this thread, the law actually determines life itself. Declining returns cause markets to implode, governments to fall, environments to collapse causing civilizations to fail. Here we are today, sitting on that edge.

The Problem

Archeo-anthropologist Joseph Tainter defines “declining marginal returns” laying the cause at the feet of energy and agriculture. Continue reading

Invest in a Business and Not Just Markets

As I prepared for this article I realized that there are so many myths about investing. One myth is the concept of a balanced portfolio. A balanced portfolio are how stocks and bonds are supposed to offset each other. So I can properly explain why these myths are giving us a false sense of security I thought I would start with a quick definition of the two markets and the concept of a balanced portfolio.

What is the Bond Market?

The bond market, also called the debt market or credit market, is a financial market in which the investors are provided with the issuance and trading of debt securities. The bond market primarily includes government-issued securities and corporate debt securities, facilitating the transfer of capital from savers to the issuers or organizations requiring capital for government projects, business expansions, and ongoing operations. Definition courtesy of Investopedia.

What is the Stock Market?

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How Soil Health Impacts All Wealth

In today’s complex economy how do we progress financially from where we are today and the life of abundance we seek? This is the first question a financial advisor will ask us. It is seldom an easy question to answer because the quality of our life isn’t measured purely in financial terms. There are multiple factors including our work, our family and, fundamentally, our values. How does our quest for financial wealth balance with the people and planet upon whom we depend? Surprisingly, it all begins with the Continue reading

Organic Economics In A World of Industrial Agriculture: Applying the Power of Nature

In order to understand how we arrived at today’s food system and the opportunity to expand into organics, some history is in order.

Prior to World War II, the food economy in the US was typified by organic market gardens and small grocery stores that carried fewer than 500 items. Self-sufficiency was a necessity as the economic grip of the Great Depression remained. The food supply was local and the average farm size was 157 acres. Continue reading

Robots in the Mud

There is a lot of well-deserved interest in agriculture these days. After all, growing food is critical in any economy and is uncorrelated to gyrations in the stock market. In fact, the value of Iowa farmland out-perform the DJIA. The question here is, can high tech robotics improve our yields, returns, and efficiency?

Recently, a group of researchers from Harper Adams University in the UK designed an integrated system of robots to undertake all the necessary farming steps to grow and harvest a one hector plot of barley. While the barley yield in their experiment was below par, I give them high marks for Continue reading

An Unusual Organic Crop Rotation

When I was eleven working on my family farms in Emmetsburg, our license plate proudly stated “Iowa, A Place To Grow”. That has never been truer than today. What has changed for my family is how we farm, moving from conventional chemical-based farming to organic.

Today our organic crop rotations include corn, oats, soybeans, alfalfa and other small grains, all in support of feeding a hungry world. Each year our soil yields more information about our fields and as we learn more, we adapt our rotations to support natures amazing ability to balance and produce. Little did I know back when I was eleven that Continue reading

The Economist – January 3, 2015

January 3, 2015 “Institutional investors such as pension funds see farmland as fertile ground to plough … farming them out to specialist funds … Over the past 20 years in America, annual returns of 12% have caused some to dub it “gold with a coupon” … it out performed most asset classes … with low volatility … and farmland is less sensitive to economic shocks (people continue to eat even during downturns in interest rate hikes) …”