Ross Baird, JS '07, invests in a solution to a fast-growing ecological threat in the United States

January 23, 2017

Jefferson Scholar alumnus Ross Baird developed Village Capital in 2009 not simply to invest in profitable businesses or inventions, but to solve real global problems. In eight years, the firm has supported more than 600 enterprises across six continents, all of which are providing effective solutions in the areas of health, education, financial inclusion, clean energy, and agriculture.

One of Village Capital’s most recent investments, Fin Gourmet Foods, is a small company in Paducah, Kentucky that is helping to address a fast-growing ecological threat in the U.S.: the population explosion of Asian carp.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, Asian carp were introduced into Southern fish farm ponds in the 1970s and quickly spread across the country. This aggressive and highly adaptable fish is now outcompeting native fish species for food and habitat in much of the South and Midwest. Today they are on the verge of threatening to destroy the ecosystem of the Great Lakes—and draining $42 million from the federal government.

Click here to read about how Ross discovered the work of Fin Gourmet Foods and decided to invest in their unique approach, turning a resource-draining problem into a profitable solution.


Ross Baird

New England Jefferson Scholar



The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

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The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, like its namesake, knows that virtue and talent come from all walks of life. Indeed it is this knowledge that drives the Foundation to search the world over for its recipients.

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