Thank you for another incredible RFSI Forum!
The 2023 RFSI Forum took place on Sept. 26-27 in Denver, Colorado. As the marquee event for investing in Regenerative Food and Agriculture, the Forum catalyzes conversation, advances education, and drives increased investment in regenerative agriculture and food. This is the place to connect with 400+ attendees, learn from 45+ speakers and make connections during 9+ hours of networking!
We look forward to hosting our 2024 RFSI Forum on October 9-10 in Denver, Colorado!
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The Regenerative Food Systems Investment (RFSI) Forum is the ONLY event that exclusively brings together investors, capital activators, and critical stakeholders working to build resilient food systems. Listen and learn from the leaders in investing and regeneration. Meet existing and new connections to advance your goals in this space.
This is THE gathering for learning how and where to invest capital into agriculture and food for financial and impact returns. Whether you have been engaged in the regenerative space for decades or just a little curious, this event offers unparalleled insight and networking opportunities.
Who should attend?
- Investors, fund managers, foundations
- Financial advisors and other investment services
- Entrepreneurs and producers
- Food companies, agricultural and food service providers
- Advocates for healthy food systems
Scholarships have closed: The winners of the Farmer Scholarships were announced August 1, 2023. Farmers and ranchers are an essential part of the regenerative food system and to the ecosystem of capital and solution-builders at the RFSI Forum. To better enable farmers to join the conversation, this year we are offering a limited number of Farmer Scholarships to cover registration fees.
We would like to say a very special thank you to the following companies for their generous financial contributions to the farmer scholarships: The Nest, Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT, PBC, Soil Carbon Initiative, Biome Capital, and #NoRegrets.
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Investments in soil health and the systems around those who steward soil health can transform food systems and have positive reverberations far beyond. Here we start to connect these dots and frame the conversation for the next two days.
While it is understood that there are financial and agronomic risks associated with the on-farm transition to regenerative, there is also tremendous potential to maintain crop yields and generate near-term positive financial outcomes. This panel of diverse farmers will explore the idea of the regenerative J-Curve and whether it is inevitable; how to achieve favorable outcomes and where can capital play a role; and what funders should understand about farmers’ agronomic, market, economic, and other barriers to adoption or expansion?
As a real asset investment, farmland has long been valued for providing diversification benefits, inflation protection, and historically strong returns but now it’s also increasingly seen as a solution to transitioning land at scale from extractive to regenerative, while generating value for farmers and investors. This panel will explore the diverse strategies that are coming online to create natural capital solutions with farmland investment.
Here we take the kitchen table conversation between farmer and funder to the stage. This case study dives into how one funder curates financing solutions specific to the farmer and the operation and how that capital is activated to build systems that support farmers and ranchers across an entire region.
In the past 18 months, carbon markets have undergone a significant shift from a focus on offsets to insets. This session will explore this development and others in soil carbon markets, as well as look at the opportunity and status of other markets for ecosystem services, such as biodiversity and water.
Australian regulated nature-based carbon markets are more advanced than anywhere else, allowing investors to build strategies around regenerative agriculture + carbon income. Two experienced asset managers – Paul McMahon of SLM Partners and Bert Glover of Impact Ag Partners, share what they have learned and their exciting new joint venture strategy in Australia.
Session 1: Innovative Finance Models to Scale Regen Investments
Innovation in the way we finance regeneration is all around us. Hear from three system stakeholders who are each addressing a unique challenge in the system by breaking from convention.
Session 2: Re-Thinking Risk: How Can Farmer and Market Development Programs Mitigate Investment Risk in Regen Ag?
Session 3: Building Corporate Programs for Profitable On-farm Transition
This interactive workshop will focus on leveraging agroforestry solutions to achieve positive economic and environmental outcomes.
Session 4.: Women Leading the Transformation of Food & Finance Discussion
Take a deeper look at the role of venture capital in the regenerative transformation with our panel of fund managers who will share their strategies and explore what innovation they’d like to see in venture to make it better fit regeneration and how we can pull a larger portion of climate venture to food and ag.
Hear from 4 very diverse operations working to activate capital to transform the agriculture and food system.
A look at how policy and public funding has shaped the space in the past 18 months and a look ahead at what might be coming.
Moderated by: Tim Crosby, Thread Fund and TIFS
The mid-supply chain is the essential plumbing of the food system, but it turns out plumbing isn’t always the most attractive investment. Why is it so hard to fund the middle and how do we make it better understood and investable?
To build truly regenerative systems, we need to re-imagine how we farm, how we scale, how we think… and how we fund new systems. This case study will address what truly regenerative systems can look like; how funders are starting to look at and allocate capital to systems building;
and whether there is an ideal type of capital relationship for regenerative funders and founders.
There are companies and organizations at work to uncover the connections between production practices and crop nutrient density. This case study will address how nutrient data and network science will unlock relationships between regenerative practices and nutritional outcomes; how producers can nutrition data be used to verify impact and tell their story, and role of nutrition data in comparing the “productivity” in regenerative vs. conventional livestock systems.
Moderated by: Anthony Corsaro, Regen Brands Podcast / Outlaw Ventures
Despite the emergence of regenerative brands, investment in regen CPG lags behind agtech and farmland. Why is this? What are the strategies to fundraise and deploy capital here and what are the right structures and terms to avoid being extractive?
Global wealth and asset manager, Manulife, invests in farmland real assets at an institutional scale. In this case study, they will share the role sustainability has traditionally played in their portfolio, the surprising key results from a survey of their growers about the use of regenerative practices, and how this is influencing how the manager moves forward toward sustainable and regenerative farmland management.
While capital allocation to regenerative agriculture and food has increased over the past 5-10 years, check sizes still remain relatively small and institutional scale capital has not committed to the space on a consistent basis. This discussion will address why this barrier exists, what needs to change, and what are some of the innovative things happening to work towards it.
Session 1. Moving Toward Food As Medicine and How to Invest in It
Session 2. Re-imagining How Capital Can Support Communities Who’ve Been Systemically Left Behind?
Session 3. Alternative and Collaborative Business Cases for Regenerative Food System Transition
Session 4. Shock Scenario: An Interactive Workshop to Find Actions We Can Take Today to Drive Transformation
New! RFSI Bootcamp – September 25th
Are you just starting… or contemplating… your fundraising journey? The RFSI Bootcamp, a new pre-course to the RFSI Forum, is geared toward farmers, ranchers, producers, brands and early stage start-ups that would like to better understand the regenerative food systems investment landscape and how best to engage in it. Limited space available, so be sure to register early! You do not have to register for the RFSI Forum to attend the RFSI Bootcamp.
– Introduction to different types of capital
– Who they serve and how
– How capital can work together
A short review of public sector (primarily federal level) funding programs designed to serve farmers, ranchers and others in the food and agriculture space, as well as a profile of the different programs designed to support particularly organic, conservation and regenerative farmers. Plus, where you can go to learn more.
– Why is debt the most predominate capital for farmers and ranchers
– What type of debt is available and why alternatives to traditional bank debt is necessary in the regenerative ecosystem
– The role of equity and real asset investment in farmland and when it makes sense for fundraisers to pursue
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT – Drew Blankenbaker
– The role of philanthropy in de-risking early stage and under-represented communities
– Venture capital: What it is and isn’t for farmers and other fundraisers
– How venture impact may work to serve farmers
– How venture impact works with philanthropy
– How to evaluate if you are investment ready?
– What different types of funders will ask of you and be looking for
– What resources are available to support your efforts in getting ready?
– What do other farmers and fundraisers wish they knew before they started their capital journey?
– How can you navigate the additional complexity of raising outside capital?
Our panel of investor funders will hold an open Q&A to address your questions as you consider the next steps in your capital journey.
Regen Food Systems & Farm Tour – September 28
The Regen Food Systems & Farm Tour is an optional add-on experience taking place 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on September 28, the day after the RFSI Forum ends. Tour attendees will enjoy visiting and learn more about these amazing regenerative farms and organizations:
DAR | Drylands Agroecology Research
The land was deeply degraded and bare of vegetation. Little if any topsoil was present, and biodiversity was minimal. A typical example of desertification in the brittle climate of the southwest, D.A.R saw this as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the power of regenerative design.
Cultivating a relationship with the soil, harvesting the land, and celebrating beautiful produce. Farmer/Owner Mark DeRespinis returned to the front range to start Esoterra Culinary Garden after developing a farm at the world renowned Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs resort in northern New Mexico.
Grama Grass & Livestock
Grama Grass and Livestock is a regenerative meat company that works with animals, primarily cattle, to build resilient grassland ecosystems. Through creative partnerships with landowners, Grama Grass manages over 500 acres of land in Boulder County, while not owning a single acre. The land partnerships create a unique model where holistic land management gets rewarded in a rural to urban interface.
Farm to Table Lunch
Tour attendees will also enjoy a unique on-farm networking experience, complete with a farm-to-table lunch!
There will be an additional tour stop, so stay tuned! Spots are limited for the tour, so register soon to reserve your spot!
Thanks to our tour sponsors: Zero Foodprint & Wolfe’s Neck Center/OpenTEAM!
We’re excited to have these teams on hand to help lead the tour and share more about the opportunities to build robust beneficial relationships between farmers, restaurants, and other food system stakeholders.
Can’t make it to the tour?
Our friends at Advancing Eco Agriculture are holding the grand opening of their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Aurora, Colorado from 9-11 a.m. on Sept. 28. Register to join them here.
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The 2023 RFSI Forum will be held at the Denver Performing Arts Complex in the Seawell Ballroom! Seawell Ballroom is conveniently located in downtown Denver, within walking distance to many hotels, restaurants and entertainment options. The ballroom offers stunning panoramic views of the city and mountains and plenty of space for our growing community!
The Seawell Ballroom is located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex, at the northwest corner of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Look for the marquee by the box office to enter and make your way to the second floor.
FULL! The RFSI Forum room block at the Kimpton: Hotel Monaco Denver, 1717 Champa Street, Denver, CO is full.
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Thank You to Our Sponsors
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Join this growing list of companies who have committed to attend
Become a Sponsor
Sponsors of the RFSI Forum are the organizations leading the transition to a more regenerative food system. Sponsorship packages offer value and flexibility for diverse types of businesses, including:
- Increased visibility and thought-leadership among a unique investor and activator community
- Opportunity to showcase your expertise and services
- Media coverage before, during and after event
- Branding throughout the event