Updated by Steward Team
Farmers, ranchers, fisheries, and agriculture businesses practicing sustainable and regenerative agriculture, and who produce or raise food, commodities, or other products of high economic importance for direct sale. Steward loans fund projects that are:
- Regenerative — farming practices that increase biodiversity, enrich soils, improve watershed health, sequester more carbon than they release, and enhance ecosystem services.
- Sustainable — farming approaches that sustain farmers, resources, and communities.
- Appropriate — farming approaches that are fitting for a specific community, location, or operation.
- Equitable — farming systems and businesses that support marginalized groups and empower underserved communities.
Steward supports agriculture in many forms and is committed to ensuring local communities can meet their basic needs. As a policy, Steward prioritizes funding food production. Secondary priorities include medicine, fuel, and fiber. Recreational or ornamental crops are less viable for Steward loans, however, this isn’t to say that Steward won’t fund sustainable flower farms or native plant nurseries. Instead, this indicates that when funds or staff capacity are limited, resources will be allocated to higher priority crops and production systems.