Growing Into Your Business: Loans and Lending for Food and Farm Entrepreneurs

October 21, 2021
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Agriculture Events Events
Virtual via Zoom

Growing a food and farm business often requires taking on debt.  Upfront capital requirements and early operations expenditures can leave enterprises strapped for cash, and therefore highly vulnerable to disruptions.  It is important to determine when to expand, when to seek funding, and how credit decisions are made.  

In this virtual workshop, you’ll learn how to decide when a loan is the right tool for you, and, when the time comes, how to get approved.

Fee: $10

Register >

Meet the Speakers


Andy Larson

Andy Larson, Outreach Specialist, Food Finance Institute

Andy joined FFI as a Farm Outreach Specialist in January 2021.  Andy works with entrepreneurial farm businesses in Wisconsin to build farm financial management capacity and access the capital they need to grow.  Andy has expertise in farm business and marketing, agricultural lending, and grantsmanship.  Prior to joining FFI, Andy worked as an Agriculture and Commercial Loan Officer at a community bank, providing commercial credit to family farms and small businesses in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  His portfolio included crop farms, dairy farms, and a wide variety of local food farms. 

Before that, Andy worked in university extension in both Iowa and Illinois, providing programming on the business and marketing side of small farms, local foods, and sustainable agriculture.  Andy earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.  Andy grew up on a dairy farm, and now lives with his wife and three daughters on a small-scale poultry farm just down the road, where they produce free-range brown eggs for local restaurants, retail stores, and farmers markets.

If you need an accommodation or a sign language interpreter, please contact the Access and Disability Services department at (815) 455-8766 or