Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) closed a $15 million funding round led by venture capital firm NRV, with participation from Open Prairie, as well as existing investors S2G Ventures and Middleland Capital’s VTC Innovation Fund.
Founded in 2014 by CEO Corwin Heatwole, SVO produces the Farmer Focus brand, an organic poultry brand that provides best-in-class traceability. A sixth-generation farmer himself, Heatwole created sustainable, innovative partnerships between SVO and family farms. These partnerships allow farmers to retain ownership and grow profitability while also providing traceable, organic meat.
“We are pleased to add investors and advisers to the SVO team who share in our vision and mission, and offer deep expertise across the retail and supply chain,” said Heatwole. “This investment will enable SVO to continue expanding our retail footprint and Farmer Focus brand offerings.”
The company intends to use the funds for investments in plant modernization to increase throughput volumes, as well as expanded marketing and brand outreach focused on growing Farmer Focus fresh and value-add product sales in leading grocery stores and retail locations throughout the United States.
“Shenandoah Valley Organic is an incredible growth story out of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and NRV is excited to be part of their future as they continue to expand the Farmer Focus organic meat brand. Their best-in-class traceability links products on the shelf back to the specific family farm that sourced them, providing transparency along with a high-quality, clean-label, organic product,” said Laura Markley, managing director at NRV.
Open Prairie joined the round through the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, a growth-stage private equity fund dedicated to providing capital to agribusiness companies throughout rural America. Open Prairie partner Jason Wrone stated, “SVO truly embodies the spirit of rural America and is well positioned for explosive growth. The Farmer Focus brand personifies the company’s emphasis on developing and maintaining strong relationships with its growers and preserving smaller, independent family farms while also implementing innovative technologies to produce high-quality products for today’s health and environmentally-conscious consumers.”