Investments in Regenerative Economies

Alongside the primary work of providing general operating support grants, Ceres Trust makes investments that reflect a vision holding ecosystems as sacred and foundational to all life, and the belief that right relationship between humans and the earth, and between one another as people, are tantamount to our ability to survive and flourish.

Partners

agri cultura network

Agri-Cultura Network

A community driven model building New Mexico’s small farming economy, promoting nutrition and economic development through traditional and innovative agricultural practices.

Read More
OWEESTA Corporation

Oweesta Corporation

The only existing Native CDFI intermediary offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities.

Read More
California FarmLink

California FarmLink

Investing in the prosperity of farmers and ranchers through lending, education, and access to land.

Read More
Black Farmer Fund

Black Farmer Fund

Creating a thriving, resilient, and equitable food system by investing in black food systems entrepreneurs and communities in New York.

Read More
Hawai’i Investment Ready: Ulu Cooperative

Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative

Committed to the revival of ‘ulu to strengthen Hawai‘i’s food security and to the value of aloha ‘āina (love for the land) by using environmentally responsible growing and production methods.

Read More
Jubilee Justice / Potlikker Capital

Jubilee Justice / Potlikker Capital

Supporting Black farming communities through new models of regenerative farming, cooperative ownership and access to new markets.

Read More
NBFJA

Black Land and Power

A coalition aimed at developing Black leadership, supporting Black communities, organizing Black self-determination, and building institutions for Black food sovereignty & liberation.

Read More
Seed Commons: A Community Wealth Cooperative

Seed Commons

A national network of locally rooted, non-extractive loan funds that brings the power of big finance under community control.

Read More
Sicangu: Community Development – Lakota Style

Sicangu CDC

A nonprofit organization serving the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, working to transform broken systems so that they are community-driven and grounded in our Lakota values.

Read More
Iroquois Valley Soil Restoration Notes

Soil Restoration Notes

Iroquois Valley has independently issued promissory notes since 2014 to offer investors a fixed-income security that supports organic farmers.

Read More
Rural Coalition

Rural Coalition / Coalición Rural

A voice for African-American, American Indian, Asian-American, Euro-American and Latino farmers, farmworkers, and rural communities in the US, indigenous and campesino groups in Mexico, and beyond, for 40 years.

Read More
Agriculture & Land -Based Training Association

Agriculture and Land–Based Training Association

Creating opportunities for low-income field laborers through land-based training in organic farm management.

Read More
‘Aina Momona

ʻĀina Momona

A native Hawaiian nonprofit dedicated to achieving environmental health and sustainability through restoring social justice and de-occupying Hawaiian lands.

Read More
Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute logo

Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute

Focused on the resurgence of Indigenous agriculture and the renaissance of hemp, centering Anishinaabe culture, farming, Horse Nation, and a Just Transition.

Read More
California Tribal Fund logo

California Tribal Fund

Supporting California-Native-led nonprofits and tribal programs in controlling and protecting their food systems, water, languages, traditional ecological knowledge, and land.

Read More
Dream of Wild Health

Dream of Wild Health

Restoring health and well–being in the Native community by recovering knowledge of and access to healthy Indigenous foods, medicines and lifeways.

Read More
Earthseed Permaculture Center and Farm logo

EARTHseed Farm

Operated and rooted in Afro Indigenous permaculture principles and built on the long legacy of earth wisdom traditions of people of African descent.

Read More
Federation of Southern Cooperatives logo

Federation of Southern Coops

A non-profit cooperative association of Black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives, developing cooperatives and credit unions as a means for people to enhance the quality of their lives and improve their communities.

Read More
The Cultural Conservancy

Heron Shadow

A Native place of refuge and learning for community engagement, connection to the land, growing Indigenous foods, and nourishing Indigenous and intercultural relations.

Read More
Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili

Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili

Re-establishing systems that sustain community through educational initiatives and land-based practices that cultivate abundance and promote collective health and well-being.

Read More
Land Loss Prevention Project

Land Loss Prevention Project

Curtailing epidemic losses of Black owned land in North Carolina, by providing legal support and assistance to all financially distressed and limited resource farmers and landowners.

Read More
Minnow

Minnow

Focusing on agricultural and racial justice through collective land stewardship to help build a more cohesive and complete coalition for justice, nationally and globally.

Read More
Wolakota

Wolakota

A project of the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation, reconnecting bison to the land and people of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate.

Read More
The Fields at Rootsprings Coooperative

The Fields at RootSprings

Providing land-based programs for the healing, development and community well-building of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists, activists, healers and communities in Minnesota.

Read More
Urban Tilth: North Richmond Farm

Urban Tilth

Creating a space in the heart of the most impacted neighborhood in Richmond, California, where children, youth, and adults can deeply engage with nature.

Read More
central valley agroecology

Central Valley Agroecology

Imagining and co-creating spaces for environmental and cultural healing as well as agroecological experimentation and production in the Central Valley.

Read More
watsonville land project

Watsonville Land Project

Connecting diversified, organic, Latino immigrant owned farms stewarding the land, investing in soil health, gaining economic opportunity and thriving livelihoods.

Read More

Approach

Ceres Trust investment strategy and practice are guided by the following questions and aspirations, acknowledging that our practice and investments exist across a spectrum of alignment with these priorities. We are continually learning, and invite feedback and dialogue to strengthen practice and possibility for transformative investments.

  • Does the investment advance the mission to support healthy and resilient farms, forests, and communities, and the ecosystems upon which we all depend?
  • Does the investment acknowledge, tend to, and undermine the intertwined root causes of harm: dehumanization, economic inequality, and ecological catastrophe.
  • Are those most harmed by extractive systems at the center of the solution? Is the investment responding to a movement or field need?

Priorities

Priorities for Ceres Trust Aligned Investment Portfolio:

  • Support for a Just Transition in communities that have been on the front lines of extractive, industrial agriculture and other industries.
  • Community leadership in determining needs and finance strategies for a transition to regenerative economies in rural places.
  • Soil health building investments that are non–extractive.
  • The dire need to expand access to capital for organic small scale farmers in general; especially those who have been historically underserved or intentionally disenfranchised, including African American farmers, Indigenous people, and farmworker/Indigenous/Latinx farmers.
  • Creative strategies to redistribute and secure access to land (stewardship) and return or facilitate ownership/stewardship of land by those with the values, commitment, persistence, knowledge to right the relationship to the land, follow the lead of the land and her people, persist through reactionary assault.

In addition, we have learned from movement partners that:

  • Place matters, and the most responsive and transformative investments will likely work in regions Ceres Trust already has relationships and does general grantmaking.
  • Relationships matter: these investments succeed when both partners/all parties succeed. Relationships that allow creative strategizing and support across the traditional lines of “lender” and “borrower” are essential. Learning how to create non–extractive financial partnerships is essential.
  • The approach and culture of relationship with the land is essential to interrogate with potential investment partners to ensure they align with Ceres Trust.

Guidance

Ceres Trust’s aligned investment approach and strategy was developed with leadership from Anthony Chang, Kitchen Table Advisors, in consultation with many people, including:

Movement and field partners:

  • A-dae Romero-Briones, First Nations Development Institute
  • Chrystel Cornelius, OWEESTA
  • Brendan Martin and Marnie Thompson, Seed Commons
  • Eduardo Rivera, Sin Fronteras Farm
  • Pakou Hang, Hmong American Farmers Association
  • Tamara Jones, SAAFON
  • Tim Lampkin & Leonette Henderson, Higher Purpose
  • Edna Rodriguez & Tahz James, RAFI
  • David Mancera, Kitchen Table Advisors
  • Mai Nguyen, Minnow
  • Reggie Knox, California FarmLink
  • Helga Garza, Agricultura Network
  • Larisa Jacobson, Soul Fire Farm
  • Qiana Mickie, Just Food

Investment partners and/or connectors:

  • Esther Park, Cienega Capital and No Regrets Initiative
  • Leslie Christian, Northstar Asset Management
  • Tiffany Brown, Chordata Capital
  • Konda Mason, Jubilee Justice;
  • Lynne Hoey, Candide Group

Key learning gatherings:

  • HEAL Food Alliance Summit in Albuquerque May 2019
  • Carbon Sink Farming Convergence in San Diego November 2019
  • Equitable Food & Farm Financing in Little Rock, AR November 2019
  • CA Farmers of Color convening in Paicines, CA in December 2019
  • Justice Funders Maestra Program participants, State of the Movement 2020 preparations