WEST BRANCH, Iowa — The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, which protects land to make it possible for beginning farmers to grow environmentally friendly food, has announced its participation in the Chipotle Aluminaries Project 2.0, which supports ventures from across the country that are advancing innovative solutions that empower the next generation of farmers.
The industry-leading program is sponsored by the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation in partnership with Uncharted, both nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations.
For the next seven months, the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT), will receive customized support, including mentorship from industry leaders including Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea; Ken Meyer, former Global Vice President of Whole Foods Market; and Brian Irving, Global Head of Marketing, AR/VR at Facebook; as well as Chipotle executives. SILT will also receive individualized investor introductions throughout the program and Chipotle VIP cards, which will provide real food to fuel work sessions all year long.
From the ability to access land, financial or legal guidance, connections to equipment, and education, each organization in the cohort offers a unique solution to barriers that young farmers face. The selected ventures include:
- Agrarian Trust: Agrarian Trust is launching a network of Agrarian Commons in communities across the country to acquire and hold farmland in trust, providing farmers with equitable, affordable, secure land access through long-term leases.
- American Farmland Trust: American Farmland Trust helps new farmers gain access to land through national and localized networks and services in order to transfer farms from one generation to the next and keep farmland in farming.
- Demeter Mobile: Demeter Mobile is bringing the shared economy to agriculture. Pairing growers and service providers, Demeter Mobile is helping connect the farming community with a few taps on an app.
- Farm Commons: Farm Commons provides the proactive legal resources that sustainable farmers need to become the stable, resilient foundation of a community-based food system.
- A.R.M.S.: F.A.R.M.S. provides legal services to small farmers while reducing hunger in the farmer’s community.
- Rogue Farm Corps: Rogue Farm Corps trains and equips the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs and the preservation of Oregon’s farmland.
- Sustainable Iowa Land Trust: Sustainable Iowa Land Trust permanently protects Iowa’s land to grow healthy food.
- Viva Farms: Viva Farms empowers aspiring and limited-resource farmers by providing bilingual training in holistic organic farming practices, as well as access to land, infrastructure, equipment, marketing, and capital.
“SILT has achieved exceptional results in just a few short years because more and more people recognize that we can make a difference by helping more beginning farmers find their place on the land to grow healthy food that people actually eat instead of simply deleting our soil and water with endless cycles of chemically treated monoculture crops,” said SILT Executive Director Suzan Erem. “The generosity of the Chipotle Aluminaries 2.0 Project and its extraordinary resources will certainly take SILT to the next level of effectiveness to the benefit of Iowa, generations of farmers and our global environment.”
More information can be found at https://uncharted.org/program/chipotle-aluminaries-project-2.
The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust was launched in 2015 to preserve land for nature-friendly fruit, vegetable, and livestock production. On parcels donated to SILT, the organization offers long-term, inheritable leases to eligible farmers, freeing them from a lifetime of land debt. With decades of mortgage interest out of the equation, farmers can plow capital into their operations instead. The farmer gains equity in the home, barns and business. SILT charges market-rate rent (reduced for remediation practices) that help pay for monitoring and assistance provided to SILT farmers. This approach makes SILT economically sustainable while maintaining a fair playing field for all food farmers in a particular market. By protecting land for sustainable food farming, SILT increases the amount of fresh, ripe food in the Midwest; permanently improves water and soil quality; rebuilds our rural economy; mitigates climate change; increases our independence from global forces; reduces the cost of land for farmers and increases diversity in our agricultural economy.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is cultivating a better world by serving responsibly sourced, classically cooked, real food with wholesome ingredients without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Chipotle had over 2,600 restaurants as of March 31, 2020, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. With more than 85,000 employees passionate about providing a great guest experience, Chipotle is a longtime leader and innovator in the food industry. Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone while continuing to be a brand with a demonstrated purpose as it leads the way in digital, technology and sustainable business practices. Steve Ells, founder and former executive chairman, first opened Chipotle with a single restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. For more information or to place an order online, visit WWW.CHIPOTLE.COM.
ABOUT THE CHIPOTLE CULTIVATE FOUNDATION
Chipotle Mexican Grill established the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation in 2011 to extend its commitment to making real food accessible for all. Since its inception, the foundation has contributed more than $5 million to like-minded organizations committed to cultivating a better world through food.
Uncharted is a social impact accelerator that builds coordinated movements of people to tackle problems from all angles. They partner with corporations, foundations, and governments to launch initiatives that connect those working on the same problem and help them go to scale. To date, Uncharted has helped social entrepreneurs raise $315 million, create impact in 96 countries, and benefit 55 million lives. For more information, visit WWW.UNCHARTED.ORG.
— The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust
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