Greetings, HMI community! I am Sarah Larson, acting director of the Food Finance Institute (FFI), and I am thrilled that our organization is now partnering with HMI.
We share a similar vision for a thriving, healthy, resilient food system—one that’s rooted in supporting farmer entrepreneurs and nurturing an ecosystem of mission-aligned partners to ensure long-term viability and resiliency of farms, families, and communities. Both HMI and FFI know that when innovative farmers and ranchers who practice regenerative agriculture and holistic management are able to build successful, profitable, and sustainable enterprises, the benefits ripple outward and multiply.
Who We Are
As part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship, FFI works closely with agricultural entrepreneurs to help them craft resilient business models, strategize growth, and access the capital they need to excel. We provide a range of farm-specific resources, including trained consultants, technical assistance, and immersive training programs. Our Edible-Alpha® Learning Center is a rich source of insights, a recurring podcast featuring food and farm entrepreneurs, and a full suite of on-demand education.
Our farm-focused programming and consulting is spearheaded by our Farm Outreach Coordinator, Andy Larson. Andy has a background as both an agriculture lender and an extension educator. In addition, he is a value-added farmer, raising over 600 hens and selling his eggs to local restaurants, retailers, and other markets. Through his breadth of experience, humor, and approachable personality, Andy makes farm finance both accessible and fun as farm finance and business development can be : )
The cornerstone of FFI’s training program is our Financial Management Boot Camps—and we offer sessions solely dedicated to diversified farm businesses. These multiday virtual seminars whisk agricultural entrepreneurs away from their day-to-day operations in order to facilitate focused, strategic business development. Through a blend of learning, networking, focused work time, individual consulting, and business pitches, our Boot Camps provide the tools to build more resilient operations.
Other FFI immersion trainings include Raising Equity, which focuses on crafting investible business models, preparing investor-ready financial packages, and devising successful strategies for raising debt or equity. Our Managing Uncertainty: Scenario Planning course helps entrepreneurs anticipate multiple potential futures, develop plans to navigate each, and remain nimble and viable despite ever-changing business landscapes.
How Our Partnership Benefits You
Because of the many synergies between HMI and FFI, we are excited to invite the HMI community to take advantage of our resources. Our new partnership offers numerous benefits for HMI farmers and ranchers, including:
- $100 off an Unlimited Learner Pass ($300 value) for our Edible-Alpha® Learning Center, granting unlimited access to our library of on-demand training courses (including Financing Your Value-Added Farm: Getting Capital Ready) and other resources for one full year
- $100 off any live, virtual FFI Immersion Training, including Farm Financial Management Boot Camp, Raising Equity and Managing Uncertainty: Scenario Planning
- Need-based scholarships to help cover the cost of FFI programming
And for HMI staff and Certified Educators:
- 20% off FFI’s Financial Consultant Training Programs
Again, we are honored to collaborate with HMI. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals for a profitable business and a prospering world.
Sarah and the FFI Team
P.S. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected], where Laura will be sure to help you get any answer or additional information you need.