Pioneering Impact Investment Program Receives Grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR)
Kirchner Food Fellowship announces this year’s program will have a soil health investment focus
Birmingham, Alabama & Washington, DC– 28 November 2018 – The Kirchner Food Fellowship, a Kirchner Impact Foundation initiative, today announced a collaboration with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and North Carolina State University (NCSU) which will provide financial and technical expertise in support of the 2018-2019 Kirchner Food Fellowship program. The collaboration aligns the three organizations’ shared agricultural research priorities of water and soil efficiency.
The Kirchner Food Fellows developed the 2018-2019 mandate to invest in a revenue-generating and environmentally restorative enterprise that aims to increase the profitability of smallholder farms through a focus on soil or water.
While the amount of “smart” impact investment capital is increasing rapidly, global access to that capital is not. The Kirchner Food Fellowship attempts to rectify that, with a mission to develop and test low-cost, high-impact investment models using dedicated teams of millennial talent.
The Kirchner, FFAR, NCSU collaboration is designed to encourage innovation, investment and increases in agricultural productivity by partnering Kirchner Fellows with FFAR Fellows in Agricultural Sciences. This partnership will create an interdisciplinary team that can more effectively identify and evaluate promising early stage innovations in agtech to facilitate smarter investments that both farmers and ultimately investors will benefit and profit from.
“This collaboration strengthens public-private partnerships in the Agricultural Sciences. The Kirchner Food Fellowship trains student leaders to engage in investment decisions and fund potentially ground-breaking, sustainable technologies to support global food security. The FFAR Fellowship broadens the future of up and coming Agricultural Sciences leaders by connecting them to investors. A partnership between these organizations allows for knowledge sharing and cross pollination which leads to more well-rounded fellows which is extremely exciting for the future of agriculture” said FFAR Executive Director Dr. Sally Rockey.
“I am excited to be part of the Kirchner Food Fellowship, which allows me to learn about new disruptive solutions to address global food insecurity and to practice cost-effective and impactful ways to invest in those solutions,” said Ambulah Mamey, 2018-2019 Kirchner Food Fellow
“This is an exciting step in the continued growth of our unprecedented program,” added Fellowship Director Blair Kirchner. “We firmly believe we have validated our model so that it can be scaled and replicated. We look forward to working closely with FFAR throughout this collaboration”
The Kirchner Food Fellowship is made possible through the support of Kirchner Group, a boutique firm that provides advisory, operational and M&A support to small and medium sized businesses as well as asset management services. Kirchner has a three decade history working with agriculture and food companies and is considered one of the leading boutique groups in the agtech sector. The Fellowship is sponsored as part of its ‘returning’ initiatives and capitalizes on Kirchner’s unprecedented track record and network in the sector.
Kirchner Food Fellowship
The Kirchner Food Fellowship, a Kirchner Impact Foundation (501 (c) (3)) initiative and a pioneer of the lean focused investment team movement, harnesses the power of millennials to find, fund and assist promising socially responsible agricultural businesses. The program provides unprecedented “real world” capital allocation training for select teams of university students. The Fellowship applies a problem-based learning and solutions approach with the goal of enhancing capital efficiency, lessening capital deployment costs, shortening time frames and increasing the likelihood of investment success. www.fundthefood.com
Kirchner Impact Foundation
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR)
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population.
Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs
Foundation for Food and Agriculture
Kirchner Group was founded in 1985 as a boutique advisory firm and today operates various subsidiaries, providing advisory services (M&A, assessments, diligence) and operational support (interim management, workouts, turnarounds) as well as asset management (dedicated, underperforming funds) – all leveraging a proprietary approach that dovetails domain and process expertise.
Throughout the decades Kirchner Group has been internationally recognized for its unique business model centered around creating value while promoting values: “earning while returning”. The firm has also established a reputation for building and rebuilding important business and social paradigms based on its deep entrepreneurial orientation.
Kirchner Group’s clients and partners include early stage to mid-market companies, venture capital and private equity firms as well as family offices and some of the world’s largest insurance companies, commercial banks and institutional investors. www.kirchnergroup.com
Managing Director & Co-Head of Impact Activities