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Regenerative Organic Agricultural Districts (ROADs)

Regenerative Organic Agricultural Districts (ROADs)

Croatan Institute is developing the concept of Rural Regenerative Organic Agricultural Districts, also known as ROADs, to help agricultural producers and landowners finance soil wealth using land-secured financing mechanisms and other place-based investing approaches. As part of Institute’s Organic Agriculture Revitalization Strategy (OARS), ROADs will unlock new sources of capital for implementing conservation practices for regenerative agriculture.

With support from USDA NRCS, Patagonia, and 20 private sector and non-profit partners, ROADs seeks to accelerate the development of regenerative agricultural systems at a pace and scale needed to stem the tides of soil degradation and rural economic decline. This $1.5 million project spans two years, with activities concluding in May 2022.

Focusing on four distinct U.S. regions, the Institute will research and assess the potential configuration of ROADS and pilot this model in the Upper Midwest, Southeast, Heartland and West Coast. 

“We know that dense regional clusters of regenerative, organic operators create tangible socio-economic benefits for farmers and their broader rural communities. However, financing the implementation of this regenerative organic transition remains a challenge that this project aims to tackle head-on in new, place-based ways.” - Dr. Joshua Humphreys, Croatan Institute.

For more information, see the Press Release or Project Summary Flyer.

We are proud to collaborate with an diverse group of 20+ farmers, practitioners, and technical advisors to develop the ROADs concept and innovative place-based agricultural investing mechanisms.

Farm Partners

 - Bender Farms 
 - Crews Family Farms 
 - Oliver's Agroforest 
 - Organic Valley 

Project Partners

 - Patagonia 
 - Agriculture Capital
 - Community Capital Management
 - Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)
 - D.D. Danforth Burlin
 - Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO) 
 - Globetrotter Foundation
 - Mercaris
 - Natural Capital Investment Fund 
 - Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
 - Meridian Institute 
 - Organic Valley
 - Tim Crosby, Thread Fund
 - Slipstream
 - Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments
 - Working Landscapes 

We welcome new partners and supporters. Please contact with interest or any questions. 

 This material is based on work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number NR203A750013G012.

Relevant Publications

Investing in Regenerative Agriculture across Asset Classes

Assessing needs in the regenerative meat and grain sectors to direct capital flows

Financing Resilient Value Chains through Total Portfolio Activation

Investing in the Expansion of Organic Food and Agriculture in Northeastern North Carolina

Practices at the 100 Largest and Most Influential U.S. Companies