Income-producing agriculture is a real asset that provides passive income and a hedge against inflation. Plus it can be an attractive investment for a diversified portfolio. So why don’t more people know about private placement opportunities in production farming, especially with respect to the Opportunity Zones Marketplace? In this podcast, Chris Rawley (the CEO and founder of Harvest Returns) and Austin Mannes (the company’s COO) talk about how they facilitate capital raises for small to medium-sized farmers and ranchers while providing investors streamlined access through their newly created Sustainable Agriculture Opportunity Zone Fund
Agricultural and farmland related investments in the business aspect of Opportunity Zone investing allow you to grow wealth via a passive investment vehicle. Unlike farmland stocks and REITs, the investments at Harvest Returns provide tangible yield derived from naturally produced products with little to no correlation to the overall stock market, thereby lowering the risk of loss during market corrections. That’s why investing into an agricultural opportunity zone is so unique and why farmers seeking new opportunities are already approaching Harvest Returns for capital. And that’s also why they’ve launched their Opportunity Zones Fund. But once again, the fund has to be real and education is key – and farmers and ranchers need to understand exactly how Harvest Returns can help them. By listening to this podcast, you’ll understand what the company looks for as investable projects, what some of the unique challenges and risks farmers face are, what environmental issues play a part in the process, and why changing consumer requirements makes an agricultural business an interesting play for investors. In fact, with a live offering on their platform for a CBD oil conversion facility, they have some opportunities in the hemp and cannabis opportunities too. For more information, visit their Sustainable Agriculture Opportunity Zone Fund here.
As a career naval officer, Chris Rawley traveled the world. Over the course of visiting dozens of war-torn and poverty stricken countries, he began to appreciate the importance of farming to every single person on earth. As a professional investor, he decided to invest in a farm, but discovered that these types of investments were inaccessible to the average person. He created Harvest Returns in 2016 to democratize investments in agriculture.
Rawley has held corporate management roles in Jones Lang LaSalle, Electronic Data Systems, L-3 Communications, and served as a defense consultant at Special Operations Command headquarters with Blackbird Technologies. He has invested in real estate and income-producing agriculture for nearly two decades. Chris has been an angel investor in early stage agriculture and food companies, including the Indian agriculture FINTECH company Jai Kisan. He serves on the advisory board of the AGTECH start-up AgroFides.
As a Captain in the United States Navy Reserve, Rawley is Chief of Staff for the Naval Reserve Surface Forces, helping to oversee 3,800 sailors supporting fleet units around the world. During his 26 year military career, Rawley has filled a variety of leadership positions in naval, expeditionary, and joint special operations units afloat and ashore. He has deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Western Pacific. Rawley has a degree from Texas A&M University, earned an MBA at George Washington University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.
Austin Maness, as COO, manages all facets of the company’s logistics, deal flow, and human resources. Some of Austin’s greatest memories were spent summers as a kid working with his grandparents on their small farm. During a ten year career as an US Army Officer, he served at several levels of command from tactical to strategic operations.
While deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, Maness conducted countless combat operations as well as cultivated relationships with local governing officials in support of mission objectives. Maness managed a $65 million, non-lethal support program in southern Turkey for the US Department of State in support of the moderate Syrian armed opposition, working with senior government officials and suppliers to provide materiel support to rebel forces. He also developed and cultivated an advance network of local activists to provide time-sensitive information to US agencies.
Because of his passion and participation in motorsport events, Maness serves as the Regional Director for Team Shelby, the social marketing arm of Shelby American Inc. Maness earned a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and completed a Masters at Kansas University.
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