Financing the Native Ag Ecosystem
Where do I even begin! 2022 has been, yet again, another record year for us here at Akiptan. Our organizational growth has been largely attributed to our great producers and the amazing staff at Akiptan. We are excited about this list of just a few of the things we were able to accomplish in the year 2022:
Started hosting monthly webinars. You can view the recordings here.
Attended numerous conferences, trainings and events hosting booths and meeting new producers and partners.
Finalized our Rancher Workbook and produced a first draft of our Youth Financial Literacy Guide.
Laid the foundation for an annual report with insightful Key Performance Indicators to be released in 2023. Stay tuned!
Doubled in staff size to help even more producers.
Deployed just under $10M in new loans this year alone.
Launched our youth internship program.
Launched our youth scholarship program.
Received the Native Catalyst Award.
Received a shout out from Vice President Kamala Harris during her address at the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit.
Partnered with coalitions to receive grant funding to continue to relend and develop new financial tools.
Approved lenders for the Heirs Property Relending Program with the FSA, meaning we have money specifically for clearing up highly fractionated land issues.
Finished our Market Study which we will formally release very soon!
As we gear up for 2023 and for all that will ensue, our largest priority is keeping our pipeline funded. Our portfolio is growing like a sturdy oak tree (not unstable and short lived like a weed- haha!). For a little bit of perspective, we closed about $1.8M in new loans in 2019, $1.7M in 2020, $3.4M in 2021 and just under $10M this year! To say the loan officers have been busy is an understatement. Not only do they underwrite loans, but they also provide one on one technical assistance where they help the client with business planning, goal setting, best practices, financial literacy, etc.
In 2023, we are planning to:
Offer loans and technical assistance as normal
Continue to grow and expand our staff
Continue to offer webinars to our producers
Relaunch our youth scholarship program
Relaunch our youth internship program
Develop more financial literacy workbooks and tools
And so much more!
Our year is going to be full of fundraising to continue to be able to fund our pipeline, providing loans and technical assistance to producers to ensure the success of their operations, continuing our current programs and identifying new gaps to fill as the year goes on.
Agriculture is an ecosystem beyond just the ecological ecosystem of grass, animals, water, etc. It’s production, value added/processing, transportation, retail, labor and workforce, being a good steward of the land, responsible financing, marketing/communications, business planning, customers/clients and everything in between. The whole ecosystem needs to be healthy and cohesively working together for us all to thrive. At Akiptan we are doing our part of responsible financing by delivering patient, innovative capital to our borrowers and pairing that with technical assistance to make sure that they are set up for success. I’ve said it before and I will say it over and over again- no one works harder than ag producers and ag businesses so it’s our responsibility to work hard at getting them financing that doesn’t hinder their operations. The untapped potential that the agriculture sector has to be an economic driver in Indian Country is a force to be reckoned with. We are incredibly excited and humbled to be a piece of the pie, or a piece of the ecosystem rather, and are looking forward to continuing our work in 2023.
This wouldn’t be possible without our clients and our funders. I’d like to thank our clients for letting us be their lender and showing us every day how great, resilient, and innovative Native ag producers are. I’d also like to thank our funders and investors, if it wasn’t for you all, this work wouldn’t be possible and we cannot express our gratitude enough.
All of this to say, hold on to your horses, because we’re just getting started and we’re expecting to deliver another record year in 2023!
All my best,