Why We Exist


The world needs more sustainable food security.


 

Why We Exist


The world needs more sustainable food security.



 

Why We Exist


The world needs more sustainable food security.



 

Why We Exist


The world needs more sustainable food security.




Bringing Everyone Together


There’s a farmer in India who wants to feed his family rather than the bugs eating his crops. There’s also a scientist with a promising way to defeat these bugs, but her grant applications keep getting rejected. And There’s a young professional in Seattle looking for high-impact ways to solve the big problems facing the world. 

Grow Further brings farmers and scientists together with anyone who is interested in investing in the future of food together.


See The Benefits

Bringing Everyone Together


There’s a farmer in India who wants to feed his family rather than the bugs eating his crops. There’s also a scientist with a promising way to defeat these bugs, but her grant applications keep getting rejected. And There’s a young professional in Seattle looking for high-impact ways to solve the big problems facing the world. 

Grow Further brings farmers and scientists together with anyone who is interested in investing in the future of food together.


See The Benefits

The Big Picture


large group of people scooping food from pot


Problem


There are approximately 800 million people malnourished today, many of them children. Continuously improving agriculture to keep up with a growing population, constantly evolving pests and diseases, and a changing climate is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Yet food security funding agencies and foundations too often overlook both fast-moving technology and indigenous knowledge.


Solution


Agricultural innovation is essential to food security, and a large body of economic research suggests that it has one of the highest rates of return to society of any public investment or development strategy. 

It’s one of the most effective ways to fight poverty, improve nutrition, help adapt to a changing environment, and in some countries even maintain national security.  And most projects do not involve huge budgets or GMOs.

 


The Big Picture


large group of people scooping food from pot


Problem


There are approximately 800 million people malnourished today, many of them children. Continuously improving agriculture to keep up with a growing population, constantly evolving pests and diseases, and a changing climate is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Yet food security funding agencies and foundations too often overlook both fast-moving technology and indigenous knowledge.


Solution


Agricultural innovation is essential to food security, and a large body of economic research suggests that it has one of the highest rates of return to society of any public investment or development strategy. 

It’s one of the most effective ways to fight poverty, improve nutrition, help adapt to a changing environment, and in some countries even maintain national security.  And most projects do not involve huge budgets or GMOs.



The Big Picture


large group of people scooping food from pot

Problem


There are approximately 800 million people malnourished today, many of them children. Continuously improving agriculture to keep up with a growing population, constantly evolving pests and diseases, and a changing climate is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Yet food security funding agencies and foundations too often overlook both fast-moving technology and indigenous knowledge.


Solution


Agricultural innovation is essential to food security, and a large body of economic research suggests that it has one of the highest rates of return to society of any public investment or development strategy. 

It’s one of the most effective ways to fight poverty, improve nutrition, help adapt to a changing environment, and in some countries even maintain national security.  And most projects do not involve huge budgets or GMOs.



Creating an Innovation Ecosystem


Investing in food security is one of the smartest ways to improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations around the world. Major national and international foundations have known this since the 1950s and continue to make agricultural innovation one of their top two or three international priorities.

Yet individual donors, who in the United States last year made nearly five times the level of charitable donations that foundations do, continue to be almost completely disengaged from agricultural innovation.  As with individual donors, private universities play an important role in science generally but almost none in agricultural innovation.

So we’re here to bring it all together. With the power of an individually driven movement, we can create a stronger innovation ecosystem to support the future of food production.


How We're Different


large group of people scooping food from pot

Creating an Innovation Ecosystem


large group of people scooping food from pot

Investing in food security is one of the smartest ways to improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations around the world. Major national and international foundations have known this since the 1950s and continue to make agricultural innovation one of their top two or three international priorities.

Yet individual donors, who in the United States last year made nearly five times the level of charitable donations that foundations do, continue to be almost completely disengaged from agricultural innovation.  As with individual donors, private universities play an important role in science generally but almost none in agricultural innovation.

So we’re here to bring it all together. With the power of an individually driven movement, we can create a stronger innovation ecosystem to support the future of food production.


The Systemic Issue


Here at Grow Further, we understand the global systemic problems that face agricultural innovation.

In the American private sector, we have a diverse financing ecosystem. An innovative company can work its way up from family and friends, to individual angel investors, to venture capital funds, to listing on a stock exchange. At each stage, there are investors willing to take risks on innovations that might really pay off. Similarly, most types of innovations that are in the public interest but not clearly associated with a financial return are financed from diverse sources. 

Educational reform experiments can be funded and conducted not only by government but also by private universities, independent think tanks, foundations, and numerous small and grassroots organizations.

In areas of agricultural research that don’t offer a financial return, particularly in developing countries, there is no diverse innovation financing ecosystem.



The Systemic Issue


Here at Grow Further, we understand the global systemic problems that face agricultural innovation.

In the American private sector, we have a diverse financing ecosystem. An innovative company can work its way up from family and friends, to individual angel investors, to venture capital funds, to listing on a stock exchange. At each stage, there are investors willing to take risks on innovations that might really pay off. Similarly, most types of innovations that are in the public interest but not clearly associated with a financial return are financed from diverse sources. 

Educational reform experiments can be funded and conducted not only by government but also by private universities, independent think tanks, foundations, and numerous small and grassroots organizations.

In areas of agricultural research that don’t offer a financial return, particularly in developing countries, there is no diverse innovation financing ecosystem.



A Real World Example


farmer surveying his farm in china

Liu Jianguo, an ordinary farmer we met in China’s Sichuan Province, thinks that he can control a plant disease by changing the timing of irrigation. There’s nothing to sell, so no private company is likely to be interested in studying this. Unless a credentialed scientist tests it, it’s hard to refine it and few others are likely to learn about it or take him seriously. And a scientist won’t do the study unless they can get a grant to pay for it. There are a handful of government agencies and major foundations that might make such a grant, and if none of them happen to be interested, or if it’s too small for them to evaluate in a process that relies exclusively on paid staff, the study doesn’t happen. From Farmer Liu’s perspective, the system is hopelessly bureaucratic. 

There are essentially no grassroots organizations, or even “grasstops” organizations like community foundations, to turn to. Even private universities have, with very small exceptions, ignored the sector.

At Grow Further, we think this is a problem – a big problem when it comes to something as important as agriculture or the innovation that underlies the future of food supplies.


A Real World Example


farmer surveying his farm in china

Liu Jianguo, an ordinary farmer we met in China’s Sichuan Province, thinks that he can control a plant disease by changing the timing of irrigation. There’s nothing to sell, so no private company is likely to be interested in studying this. Unless a credentialed scientist tests it, it’s hard to refine it and few others are likely to learn about it or take him seriously. And a scientist won’t do the study unless they can get a grant to pay for it. There are a handful of government agencies and major foundations that might make such a grant, and if none of them happen to be interested, or if it’s too small for them to evaluate in a process that relies exclusively on paid staff, the study doesn’t happen. From Farmer Liu’s perspective, the system is hopelessly bureaucratic. 

There are essentially no grassroots organizations, or even “grasstops” organizations like community foundations, to turn to. Even private universities have, with very small exceptions, ignored the sector.

At Grow Further, we think this is a problem – a big problem when it comes to something as important as agriculture or the innovation that underlies the future of food supplies.



Our long-term plan is to form a network of chapters or imitators so that farmers and scientists have lots of choices when it comes to testing small or unconventional ideas and so that middle-class Americans have a meaningful way to get involved.


Get Involved Contact Us

Our long-term plan is to form a network of chapters or imitators so that farmers and scientists have lots of choices when it comes to testing small or unconventional ideas and so that middle-class Americans have a meaningful way to get involved.


Get Involved Contact Us