We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Rawley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
From an early age, I was exposed to real estate development and investment. My father was one of the early pioneers of the self storage business in Texas. My grandfather built some of the early corner pharmacies in North Dallas. When I became old enough, I began investing in real estate myself with the goal of eventually building some sort of pioneering commercial real estate company. I really like the mechanics of wealth building through equity growth in something tangible. The things I didn’t like about real estate investing are the considerable hassles and time involved with closing a deal. Around 2015, I discovered new real estate investment platforms that presented a variety of offerings and greatly streamlined the investment process, and I was hooked. At the same time, I grew a new appreciation for agriculture and food production. I moved out into the country and drove by farms and ranches every day. I had traveled extensively in the developing world and saw how critical of an industry agriculture was, not just for local economies, but for the survival of those populations. I decided I wanted to invest in a farm, but discovered there was no easy or straightforward process to do so, especially for a first time agriculture investor. I now had an idea for the real estate-oriented company I had always wanted to start and thus was born Harvest Returns.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Harvest Returns is the leading platform for investing in agriculture. The company offers curated investments in specialty agriculture for people to diversify their portfolios. We have worked hard to build relationships with farmers around the country and provide them with flexible, creative financing solutions.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Dallas World Aquarium is world class. Don’t visit Fort Worth without stopping by the Stockyards and learning the importance of cattle to Cowtown’s history.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Austin Maness is my co-founder. Without him, Harvest Returns would still just be an idea.