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Prepayment And Investing in “Small Ag”

October 21, 2011

Many critics of “big ag” (which seems to be a perception) claim they support small operations by buying from them. That’s great for existing but what about those who want to expand, like us, or those looking to start up? There are some that invest slow money fashion with direct loans. There are a range of “angel investor” or venture capital places that cease to talk as soon as we don’t have $1000+ to join.

I read a comment from another small business who, like us, is trying to talk people into pre-ordering in able to afford to do more. We don’t all have the capability to do $15,000 or $30,000 in extending credit and work and have someone not willing to wait for it back out.Her comment “When I ask you to pre-order something, its not {because} I’m being difficult. Its {because} up front capital to purchase local livestock is a MAJOR challenge all on its own.” We’re on the other end – trying to get to produce that livestock.

It reminds me of this clip:

Although from a much different perspective and reason we relate to these words. We’re trying, living, pushing, working to get things going forward in order to provide expanded food choices to those who say they will purchase if we had it now.

There are those who would go to a bank and get a loan, which is a possibility if you know you plant x amount of crop and are reasonably assured (by insurance or yield) that next fall you’ll have X amount of dollars to repay. With “outside the box” thinking it’s not quite that easy. If there is much in place but it will take a month or six months or a year to roll the money back, banks don’t usually want to wait – it’s risky. For small operations there is no greater risk than losing not only your job but home too. That’s motivation!

There has never been a better time to look at agriculture. For “small ag” – which I suppose can also be perception! – there are hundreds of niche markets to feed people who choose to not buy from the store. They cannot buy if it’s not available. Small operations can’t provide it if there isn’t room. Out of the box investors can connect the two – with little risk. Your money is invested and working for you as well as others. It can be secured with, among other things, equipment and real estate depending on the individual situation.

Even individual consumers can take part with advance ordering things you’re interested in getting. Be it $50 or $500 if you are dedicated and set on getting it, this is a great way to increase your own choices and help small businesses expand their line. Win win. Help me help you.

Many don’t want to hear it. The message is negative, dismissive and not about choice. Many of us can relate to the frustration “Jerry” states here…and it’s not about football! Help me help you. It takes funds and most small operations just don’t have unlimited sources.

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