432 N. Lake Street Madison, WI 53706  608-890-0780

Our mission at the Food Finance Institute is to make sophisticated financial technical assistance available to every growing food, beverage and value-added agriculture enterprise.

2017 was a busy year in achieving that mission, and here is what we are proud to have accomplished this year:

Upping The Bar For Financial Technical Assistance

Tera Johnson Food Finance Institute Consultant Training
In 2017, 61 consultants and financial professionals from 6 states completed our Level 1 Training (Business Model Optimization), with 36 of those people completing our Level 2 Training (Financial Packaging) and 5 achieving certification as an FFI Premier Consultant:
  • Lois Federman, WI Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
  • Cynthia Jaggi, Independent Consultant
  • Daniel Lemmer, WI Small Business Development Centers
  • Brock Waterman, WI Small Business Development Centers
  • Terri Urbanek, WI Small Business Development Centers

In addition, 11 Urban Farmers attended our Urban Farming Is a Business Training and 12 Food Hub Managers attended our Food Hub Financial Management Boot Camp.

FAB of WI is a partner of FFI

FFI is also a proud collaborator with FaB Wisconsin, supporting their FaBCap Accelerator and participant companies with financial coaching, mentorship and technical assistance. 6 companies in the 2017-2018 FaBCap cohort worked with FFI and our partners previously.


We would like to thank the USDA for helping make our training of technical assistance providers possible via an LFPP grant. You can view our other partners on our site.

Edible-Alpha® Horizontal Logo

Producing and Curating Quality Financial Resources

There are, unfortunately, many bad business ideas being circulated on the internet and right now there is a huge gap online in reliable, actionable resources around food and beverage profitability. That is why we are building Edible-Alpha,™ a digital resource hub providing people with actionable insights, training, resources and tools so they can build and fund the next generation of profitable food, beverage and value-added farm businesses. We plan to launch Edible-Alpha® in earnest in 2018, but until then, there is great Edible-Alpha® content already out there that you can tap into:

The Edible-Alpha® Podcast

The Edible-Alpha® podcast captures great conversations with consultants, entrepreneurs, bankers and investors about building and funding profitable food and beverage businesses, released twice-monthly on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We have already reached over 9,000 downloads! You can subscribe or listen to some of our favorite episodes from 2017 below:

The Edible-Alpha® Insights Newsletter

The Edible-Alpha® Insights Newsletter is a roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events, and resources from Edible-Alpha® and across the web, released twice-monthly right to your inbox. We have over 200 happy subscribers! You can subscribe and see some of our favorite articles from 2017 below:

Speaking and Thought Leadership

We believe that thought leadership is a powerful way to positively impact the success of food and agriculture innovators around the country. Here are a few examples of our work this year:

Nutrition Capital Network

Nutrition Capital Network

FFI Director Tera Johnson currently serves on the Nutrition Capital Network Selection Committee that helps to qualify dealflow and mentor presenting companies in the natural products industry.

Amazon and Whole Foods

New Hope Media

In a piece for Nutrition Capital Network and New Hope Media, Tera details how the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon could be truly transformative if Amazon can bring more of the sensual Whole Foods experience online. Read more.

Rural Business Investment

Rural Opportunity Initiative

Tera partnered with the Georgetown Rural Opportunity Initiative and spoke at the Rural Investment Workshop in Des Moines, an event focused on how to close the gap of access to capital between entrepreneurs and investors in Rural America. Read more.

Jacqueline Claudia Expo West Pitch Slam Winner 2017

2017 Expo West

Tera mentored Love The Wild Founder Jacqueline Claudia to win the Expo West 2017 Pitch Slam. And then Jacqueline shared her business’ journey on our podcast.

Tera Johnson Accepts the Wisconsin Idea Award

2017 Wisconsin Idea Award

The Chancellor of UW-Extension honored Tera with the 2017 Wisconsin Idea Award. The award honors her for bringing her private sector experience to the service of UW-Extension’s mission of improving the opportunities and well-being of the people of Wisconsin and beyond. Read more.

2017 Expo East

Tera talks about how you can get YOUR product on and off the shelves at Expo East 2017 after teaching about fundraising at the Natural Products Business School.

Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference

2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneur’s Conference

Tera spoke at the 2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneur’s Conference about how teraswhey’s® defensible uniqueness is built on Wisconsin’s difficult-to-replicate organic and grazing dairy farming and processing infrastructure.


2017 Feast Local Foods Marketplace

Tera gave the keynote address, Tough Love for Big Dreams at the Feast! Local Food Marketplace industry-only tradeshow, emphasizing that entrepreneurs need to be tough enough to face the financial reality of the current marketplace.

Categories: FFI News and Events