Page 1: About

This circa 1951 photo is a courtesy of the Boys Town Hall of History.

Financing Organic Farms and Ranches

The extensive capital requirements of modern sustainable agriculture require efficient production systems and affordable financing. Our business model allows lenders to work with organized groups of producers, landowners and  investors to reduce lending costs along with producers’ credit loads. 

With one loan at a time and tight margins only the biggest loans make sense. Our approach allows smaller operations to cooperate with landowners and investors in multi-farm organic production systems that can improve lending margins and production efficiency. 

Our Organic Farm and Market Development Team will include organic crop and livestock specialists, commodity and retail marketing experts and agri-business management professionals. 

Page 2 on this website explains financing, including our Massena, Iowa demonstration project.

Page 3 describes our market research and business planning process. 

Page 4 explains how pasture-based organic agriculture can help regenerate natural resources and improve consumer heath. 

Please contact me for more information and to arrange a video conference.

Jim Steffen
Massena Corporation

Qualifications and History

The ideas offered on this website start with my late father, Bob Steffen. He was the farm manager for Father Flanagan at Boys Town for thirty years and a leader in developing commercial-scale organic and Biodynamic farming methods in the Midwest.

In later life, my parents moved to a small farm near Bennington, Nebraska where Dad raised Biodynamic grain for specialty millers and fresh produce for local restaurants in Omaha. Mom and Dad also rented their Massena, Iowa pasture to neighbors for their cow-calf operations.

Dad introduced me to many holistic thinkers, including E.F. Shumacher, Wendell Berry and Alan Savory. More recently, my reading on the economic potential of local food systems include Woody Tasch (Slow Money) and Michael Shuman (Local Dollars, Local Sense).

My current interests are in attracting qualified investors to farmer and rancher-owned organic food brands. Our greatest challenge today is to find the economies of scale that lie between “too small to make money” and the realities of the established food system – all without ignoring the real needs of land, labor, capital and management.

Posted 03-31-2020, revised 01-18-2021

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