We had a great 3-part discussion with Don Shaffer, Managing Partner and Soil Fund Co-Founder of rePlant capital, about farms and financing when shifting to regenerative models.
Our top takeaways include:
The US has some of the best soils in the world and in the last 50+ years there has been a counter cultural effort to shine light on pesticides and a lot of progress in local food systems, but still less than 1% of the agricultural land in the US is certified organic.
But you can’t just flip a switch, there's a cultural norm that happens, so farms need a farm management plan to go organic or regenerative and there are additional costs in terms of labor when transitioning.
It is important to focus on soil health as the nutrients in the soil are more dense and hold more water in addition to there being about 50 years worth of topsoil left in which to grow food if we continue the same practices that we do today. The efficacy of adopting soil health is showing a potential to draw down carbon and enable the livelihoods of farmers.
Correlation between increased soil health and increased carbon drawdown/sequestration has led to “Carbon Farming” and carbon credits that big tech companies can use to offset their carbon footprint that doesn’t leave the farmer holding all the risk without substantial benefit.
RePlant helps with this through their “soil fund” product which helps farmers acquire land that may be degraded and then convert it to regenerative and organic They offer lower interest rates, a streamlined loan agreement process, and less bureaucracy and time to engage with them before farmers can get the money in addition to tech assistance to help them make the transition.
More information about Don and rePlant capital can be found at their website https://www.replantcapital.com/
Click on the links below to watch each clip.
Organic VS Conventionally Grown Food
In the first part of Marc's interview Don Shaffer discusses some of his background in addition to food (Organic vs. Conventional) and how farms make the transition to an organic or regenerative model.
Why YOU Should Care About Soil Health
In the second part of Marc Rand's Interview with Don Shaffer of rePlant Capital they discuss all things soil health.
rePlant Capital's Soil Fund and Carbon Credits
In the final part of Marc Rand's Interview with Don Shaffer they discuss financing and rePlant capital's "Soil Fund" and what carbon credits are and how that relates to regenerative agriculture and soil health.