Working Farms started business in 2007 by providing management services to entities looking to invest in sustainable agriculture and organic farming. One of the initial farm ventures grouped ten investors to purchase a 142 acre farm in northeastern Illinois. This venture (Iroquois Valley Farms LLC) now owns over 1300 acres in three states and is actively raising new capital for expansion.
As background, the concept of a working farm is evolving. Historically, the soil has been the primary productive and economic focus. Farmland uses now include improvements that harvest the resources of wind, water, and the sun. These are not new applications, since there are still working wind mills and hydro-powered processing plants in operation. However, new technologies and the rising cost of burning fossil fuels are improving the economics of sustainable alternatives. Additionally, commodity agriculture is changing from traditional mono/row crop applications. Specialty and local markets are developing and demanding more diverse and nutrient rich foods produced by a new generation of entrepreneur farmers.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau