The Collaborative Sorghum Market Transformation (cSmart) has introduced a first-of-its-kind platform to support investments benefitting sorghum farmers. 

The venture capital platform will connect private funding to startups and established companies investing in sorghum innovations. cSmart will also facilitate a network of private investors seeking competitive return opportunities in the agriculture industry.

Supporting projects that create opportunities for sorghum farmers is key to the initiative. 

“From San Francisco to New York, businesses across the U.S. are seeing the value in investing in agriculture,” said JB Stewart, cSmart's board director and sorghum farmer from Keyes, Oklahoma. “cSmart is proud to come alongside these businesses to facilitate investment in sorghum, the resource-conserving crop.”

Sydney Chasin, the founder of the all-female-run snack food start-up Chasin’ Dreams Farm, received a matched private investment in her sorghum food startup through the cSmart program. 

The full Chasin’ Dreams Farm product line – which consists of puffed snacks – is made from 100% U.S.-grown sorghum and carries labels of naturally gluten-free, non-GMO, corn-free and nothing artificial. The Crunchy Ancient Grain Puffs line capitalizes on marketing the health benefits of the crop and regenerative farming practices of the “not-so-secret” primary ingredient of sorghum. 

The cSmart initiative has also facilitated networking for an industrial sorghum starch project and invested in a container facility to support specialty exports of the crop. 

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“As a reflection of this inventive spirit, the launch of cSmart is a groundbreaking step toward financing even more innovation and doing so in a way that adds maximum value to sorghum farmers,” said Jerry O’Rear, cSmart board director and president of MOJO Seed. 

Over the last five years, the Sorghum Checkoff estimates the amount of sorghum used for human food consumption has increased by 250%. The commodity is gaining new marketing opportunities due to an increased consumer preference for its natural nutritional benefits, gluten-free composition and sustainability factors.

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