Studio Hill Partners with Steward to Fund Growth of Multigenerational Vermont Farm
SHAFTSBURY, Vt., March 16, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The race to save and scale family farms is on across America. Farmers and ranchers are looking for innovative ways to keep their agricultural businesses afloat by adding new revenue streams into the mix. For Studio Hill, a 4th-generation family farm in rural southern Vermont, this meant seizing an opportunity to purchase adjacent farmland and double-down on their wildly-popularly regenerative farm stay.
For the past decade, owners Caroline and Jesse McDougall have been working tirelessly to transition their conventionally-run farm to a holistically-managed, chemical-free operation. Working to rehabilitate 250+ acres of degraded land, they raise sheep and poultry on pasture and use regenerative management to foster healthy, biologically-active soils—something they’ve mastered to become a Savory Influencer Hub (a designation of the Savory Institute).
But, in order to pay the bills and ensure that their family farm thrives for generations to come, Studio Hill has turned to agritourism as an auxiliary source of income. Seeking to learn more about the promises of regenerative agriculture, visitors come from all over the country, and beyond, to spend a few days exploring the abundance and hope in the regenerating ecosystem.
Like with many small agricultural businesses, the real challenge for Studio Hill was accessing capital to fund their expansion. Though, through a partnership with Steward—a private commercial lender offering business loans to regenerative farms and ranches—Studio Hill is close to realizing its dream. A campaign on Steward’s website aims to raise $1.4M that will fund the loan needed to increase Studio Hill’s acreage, grow its livestock herd, and expand its farm stay capacity.
“When the land around us was put up for sale—threatening the landscape we’ve loved since 1936–we were terrified because we did not expect to find the help we needed to protect our family farm. But, when all the banks said no, Steward said yes. We cried. We danced. We will protect and care for these hills for generations to come,” Jesse said.
Those wishing to support the growth of regenerative agriculture and participate in Studio Hill’s lending campaign can visit gosteward.com for further details.
Founded in 2017, Steward is transforming agriculture by equipping regenerative farms with the resources they need to grow. By providing access to flexible loans, Steward partners with regenerative farm & food businesses to scale their operations, improve the health of their lands, and bolster local food systems. Steward has provided over $7M in loans to fund 54 unique agricultural projects, backed by more than 1,000 individual lenders. Steward is proud to be a Certified B Corp. Learn more, apply for a loan, or lend support at gosteward.com
Stacia Kirby, Steward, 206-478-5841, [email protected]
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