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Growing Our Best Ideas

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Grant award will support transformational ag lending models.

This spring, Akiptan was awarded a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation. We were one of eleven organizations in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota to receive this two-year funding support designed as transformational capital. Coincidentally, that’s also how we view our lending model – a way to transform agriculture financing in Native communities for the betterment of all people. We know that we do ag financing differently, but we also know our way is working.

Traditional financing keeps ag producers in debt year after year, but our investment model is an innovative, patient approach that enables the Native ag producers we work with to build a profitable and sustainable operation. For example, one of our borrowers lost several cattle in a series of severe snow storms. With a regular ag loan, she would have had to sell off a substantial portion of her herd just to make her loan payment. This is a move that would have drastically decreased her assets as well as her earning potential for next year, quashing any projected growth for her operation. Lucky for her, she utilized our investment option, which requires interest-only payments for the first five years of repayment. With more patient and flexible repayment terms, this cattle producer was able to absorb the shock of livestock loss in the early years of her ag operation and continue to grow into a seasoned operation.

This support from the Bush Foundation will help us grow and spread our best ideas. We know that as more ag lenders see the benefits of patient capital – more stable rural economies, stronger, more profitable ag operations, and a more attractive industry to beginning farmers and ranchers – that some will begin adopting these innovative models.

Akiptan thanks the Bush Foundation for this investment!

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