MADISON – Andy Larson, whose personal and professional life has revolved around agriculture, has joined the Food Finance Institute (FFI) as a farm outreach specialist.
This new position, created in collaboration with Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC), will provide no-cost financial consulting and business development services specifically for farmers.
Larson most recently worked as an agriculture and commercial loan officer at German American State Bank, where he served row crop, dairy and local food farms in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Prior to that, he held Extension educator roles at University of Illinois and Iowa State University, with a focus on the business and marketing side of small farms, local foods and sustainable agriculture.
“I love feeling like an essential business partner to my farm clients,” he said. “I look forward to meeting farmers where they are, crunching numbers and designing strategies to help them achieve their farm business goals.”
Larson’s connection to the industry started at home: He and his wife own and operate a small poultry farm producing free-range brown eggs, located just down the road from the dairy farm where Larson grew up.
In his new role, Larson wants to produce real economic impact for farm clients by providing technical assistance on farm finances and aiding their pursuit of loans, grants and other financing to help grow their businesses.
“Andy brings a wealth of experience, and it’s wonderful to add this skill set to support to our Wisconsin farm entrepreneurs,” FFI Founder and Director Tera Johnson said. “We’re proud to have him on our team.”
Larson earned bachelor’s degrees from University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Iowa State University.
About Food Finance Institute
The Food Finance Institute (FFI) leverages and supports a collaborative network of professionals focused on building and funding profitable businesses in the food, beverage and value-added agriculture sector. Through training, coaching, resources, tools and mentorship, FFI fulfills its mission of making sophisticated financial technical assistance available to growing enterprises. In addition, FFI is the home of the Edible-Alpha® brand. Edible-Alpha® is a digital resource hub that includes the Edible-Alpha® podcast and our insights newsletter. FFI is part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. www.foodfinanceinstitute.org