- Author: Brenda Dawson
The talk, along with introductions, a Q&A session and light refreshments, will be 4-6 p.m. at the Rominger West Winery, 4602 Second St. in Davis. Tickets are $10, and reservations are available online at
Slow Money is a national network dedicated to investing in local food and agricultural enterprises, which has a Northern California chapter.
“We often hear about ‘voting with your dollar’ when it comes to supporting small-scale farmers and local food,” said Shermain Hardesty, director of the UC Small Farm Program and Cooperative Extension economist with UC Davis. “Shopping at a farmers market or becoming a CSA member are ways to support small-scale farms as a consumer — but Slow Money can be a way to invest in them.”
One local venture that has sought funding through Slow Money is the Capay Valley Farm Shop, a collaborative of 30 farms and ranches who together offer a CSA to institutions and corporations.
“Through Slow Money, we’re reaching investors who share our values, who believe that community food systems are a great investment for the health of communities and for the planet,” said Thomas Nelson, president of Capay Valley Farm Shop.
After presenting at a Slow Money showcase this summer, the Capay Valley Farm Shop is currently working with a group of interested investors through the local chapter.
Another agricultural venture — Soul Food Farm in Vacaville — has received approximately $40,000 in loans from Slow Money investors, according to the group’s website.
“This model is another way that entrepreneurs in sustainable agriculture and community food systems can seek funding — especially when conventional sources such as traditional venture capitalists, the Farm Credit System or commercial banks may not be an option,” Hardesty said.
Hardesty, along with Gail Feenstra of the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute, is currently studying values-based food systems, where relationships between growers, funders, distributors, consumers and others are based on shared values. The project is working to identify bottlenecks in the development of these values-based food supply chains, with an eye toward enhancing the prosperity of smaller producers through networks that support environmental and social sustainability.
The research is part of a USDA-funded, multi-state project, along with researchers at Colorado State University and Portland State University.
The event is sponsored by the Davis Food Co-op, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and the Giannini Foundation.
More details and ticket reservations for the Slow Money event are available at http://ucanr.org/slowmoney.