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Agribusiness Monthly – June 2015

This month, Peoples Company Land Agent and REALTOR Scott Kelly presents a Q&A with Sue Cosner of Iowa Area Development Group. Have an idea to share with us for a guest blog post or Agribusiness Monthly interview? Email Scott today.

1. Tell us about your background and what brought you to IADG. Until I came to Iowa Area Development Group in 2007, I had spent my career in local government focused on city management, land use planning, redevelopment, and economic development. I also worked for two professional associations serving local government, namely the Iowa League of Cities (ILC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). So when I came to IADG, I had worked in local government in one way or another for 24 years. I had just returned from Washington, D.C., which was my home base from where I travelled to international destinations to educate local government professionals and deploy best management practices in countries like South Africa, Albania, India, and Russia, to name a few.

Sue Cosner

Sue Cosner

2. Tell us more about IADG and what your role has been there. As I mentioned, I joined IADG in 2007 when, with program funding from Iowa Network Services (INS), we developed an economic development initiative for Iowa’s rural telecommunication companies, the shareholders of INS. At that time, IADG had been delivering business and community development assistance to the rural electric cooperatives for nearly 25 years. We duplicated those services for the telecoms, and have energized our programs with engaged telecom partners interested in the future and vitality of rural Iowa. I help to put financial packages together for development initiatives with USDA rural development financing, market available properties to prospects, and assist with other community development and betterment projects.

3. Give us your thoughts on the recovering economy and how rural communities are doing. Luckily Iowa did not suffer the pains of the recent recession as many other states did, but as you know there was still a serious downturn in the state. The rural communities we serve have prepared themselves well by being very proactive. They have assembled land, developed business parks, and built spec buildings. This activity has attracted successful small manufacturing firms and helped them to expand.

4. Tell us what you see coming down the pipeline for rural communities, rural telecommunications and RECs. Rural Iowa communities have to strike a careful balance, they need to conduct internal economic gardening to grow and promote their existing businesses; attract and recruit new businesses, all while tending to their workforce needs, housing supply, healthcare infrastructure, and other services. Communities can never stop working at achieving all of these.

5. What advice do you have for rural communities trying to attract businesses? Be prepared, community preparedness can never be underestimated. We help our communities inventory their assets, determine what they need to be in a ready position to respond to development prospects when they present themselves. If a community’s inventory does not include a business park, available land and buildings, they must carefully analyze the risks, advantages, and disadvantages of developing them. And finally, they need to engage with all their development partners – locally, regionally, and state and federal agencies.

Posted in Agribusiness, Economic Development, Headlines, In The News, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peoples Company’s Brad VanWeelden Earns Prestigious ALC Designation

Peoples Company Land Agent Brad VanWeelden has achieved the designation of Accredited Land Consultant (ALC).

Brad VanWeelden Accredited Land ConsultantHe joins a select network of the most experienced and highest performing real estate experts specializing in farmland, timberland, ranch and recreational properties or development ground.

VanWeelden, a member in good standing with the Realtors Land Institute (RLI), successfully completed a rigorous education program with all coursework required to achieve the accreditation, including more than 100 contact hours offered through RLI’s Land University.

“Timberland,” “Land Investment Analysis,” “Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges,” “Land: Conservation and an Environmental Perspective on Redevelopment,” “Mineral, Oil & Property Rights” and “Essentials of Negotiation” are among the certificates of course completion he has received.

The ALC group works together to build and share knowledge while developing trusted relationships and expanding business opportunities. It comprises individuals with the highest level of education, a proven track record of performance and a commitment to professionalism.

VanWeelden grew up on a farm near New Sharon, Iowa, and spent his summers working for local farmers choring, baling hay and helping with fieldwork. An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he specializes in recreational and combination type farms, in addition to experience with tillable farmland.

With a focus on farms, ranches, recreational land, timberland and other specialty land properties such as hunting ground, he maintains extensive knowledge of the proper paperwork and procedures that relate to land transactions, including applicable laws and regulations in regards to the land and its use.

VanWeelden’s proven track record of performance is evident in sales volumes totaling more than $10 million in the past three years as a top-performing land agent with the Peoples Company organization.

Posted in Conservation Practices, Headlines, In The News, Land Sales, Recreational Land | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Land Report Names Peoples Company among Best Brokerages, Top Auction Houses in America

Peoples Company has once again been named to The Land Report’s listing of “America’s Best Brokerages,” based on 2014 sales of $100 million to $250 million – equating to a 56 percent increase in sales compared with the year-earlier period.

More than 100 firms from nationwide participated in The Land Report’s fifth annual survey U.S. brokerages focused on land and with sales totals excluding commercial, industrial and residential transactions. It was the second year in a row that Peoples Company was included on The Land Report’s “Best Brokerages” list.

In addition, Peoples Company was named for the third consecutive year among the nation’s “Top Auction Houses” as the increasing popularity of marketing land via auction appealed to buyers and sellers this past year.

“2014 was a transition year as commodity prices declined from their highs and farm incomes continued to fall,” Peoples Company President Steve Bruere told the magazine. “This will create a buying opportunity for well-capitalized farmers and land investors, who will become a larger part of the market in 2015.”

Posted in Headlines, In The News, Land Auctions, Land Sales | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Land Investment Monthly – June 2015

The Land Investment Monthly is a round-up of articles and headlines published by the farm press, business media and financial publications with insights into buying, selling or investing in farmland, recreational ground or development ground. Follow Steve Bruere @SBruere on Twitter and find Peoples Company on Facebook for the latest land listings, auction results, upcoming events and real estate news. To subscribe to my monthly updates via email, send a message to with “Land Investment Monthly” in the subject line.

Controversial Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued the finalized version of its Waters of the U.S. rule with regulations set to become effective in fewer than 60 days. The controversial rule, which has for months been up for discussion and debate in the agricultural community, is summed up on a 290-page document that the EPA has said is a clarification of current law, as opposed to an expansion of current powers. American Ag Radio Network reports.
Read more.

Farmland irrigation

Rents, Revenues
An analysis of cash rents in Minnesota corn and soybean production considers the “good and bad news on land values.” The Farm CPA Paul Neiffer points to trends associated with the net present value ofcorn/soybean land revenues, which is about 10 times higher than they were in the early 2000s, in light of the value that a farmer is willing to pay.
Read more.

Private Label
CNBC reports on the private equity flowing into organic farms against the backdrop of the farm-to-table movement. The article considers the roles off technology, marketing and education as they relate to community supported agriculture and new generation of entrepreneurial-minded farm owners.
Read more.

Stated Values
A new study, estimating that the combined value of all land in the contiguous United States is worth about $23 trillion, considers four different property types: agricultural areas, federal land, and developed suburban and urban areas. 24/7 Wall St. used the data to compile a list of the most valuable and least valuable states, based on land prices, and including comparisons of states with large rural areas and those comprising large centers of urban development.
Read more.

Policy Cap
The “policy capitalization” of farm program payments, which provide a safety net for America’s farm sector by reducing income variability or increasing per-acre returns, is a well-documented phenomenon. The Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign examines a unique dataset to explore the influence of direct payments, and suggests that an additional dollar of direct payments is associated with an $18 per acre increase in U.S. cropland values.
Read more.

Delta Days
The drop in grain prices is having less of an impact on farmland values in Mississippi, compared with the Midwest, though the state average of $4,339-per-acre is lower then what irrigated land brings in states such as Iowa and Illinois. An assistant Extension professor and graduate student at Mississippi State University have produced a survey to determine current trends in land values, cash rents and lending conditions in the southeastern region.
Read more.

Nebraska Bill
Nebraska landowners who are interested in attracting tourists and opening a potential source of revenue from recreational activities hosted on their properties could find cover under a bill that is advancing in the state legislature. With a focus on sites such as working farms and ranches, lakes, and hunting ground, the bill would help to shield landowners in the event of injuries caused by an “inherent risk” of the land. Insurance Journal reports that the bill – sent to the Natural Resources Committee – has gained support from farming, ranch and tourism groups, as well as the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Read more.

Digging Deep
Farmers in California are drilling wells at an exponential pace as neighboring properties compete for enough water to irrigate crops during the state’s historic drought. The New York Times compares H2O to gold in a piece that for farm producers is all about survival as “everybody is pulling water out of the ground.”
Read more.

Posted in Cash Rents, Conservation Practices, Headlines, In The News, Land Expo, Land Investing, Land Management, Land Values, Recreational Land | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Land Investment Monthly – May 2015

The Land Investment Monthly is a round-up of articles and headlines published by the farm press, business media and financial publications with insights into buying, selling or investing in farmland, recreational ground or development ground. Follow Steve Bruere @SBruere on Twitter and find Peoples Company on Facebook for the latest land listings, auction results, upcoming events and real estate news. To subscribe to my monthly updates via email, send a message to with “Land Investment Monthly” in the subject line.

Hefty Range
A price tag of $713 million has been placed on the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. The 510,000-acre property, Waggoner Ranch, has been dubbed part of the “super asset class” with hundreds of homes and thousands of cattle spread over nearly 800 miles in Texas. “This “Statue of Liberty for Cowboys – larger than New York City and controlled by the same family for 160 years – has never been on the market.  It could become the most expensive piece of real estate in the world.
Read more.

Great Plains
Farmland values in the Great Plains states increased over the last year, even as corn and soybean prices experienced double-digit declines. The unexpected bump of 0.9 percent was in relationship to the Tenth Federal District, comprising portions of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming., citing a “limited amount of farmland available for sale,” reported that the majority of bankers surveyed expected farmland values to remain stable through the second quarter of 2015.
Read more.

When In Rome
The Week takes in an historical view of soil erosion with comparisons of Rome to an examination of U.S. farmland. A Cornell study found that soil in the United States disappears 10 times faster than it is naturally replenished – and with a financial cost that equals out to the loss of about $37 billion in productivity each year. The article about University of Washington geologist David Montgomery’s book, “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations,” points to the importance of soil protection and conservation practices with references to cover crops as one method of helping to secure food supplies in the future.
Read more.

Apple Land
A donation by Apple has cleared the way for the Conservation Fund to purchase nearly 36,000 acres of forestland in North Carolina and Maine. The California technology giant, with a focus on “sustainable sourcing efforts” for the pulp and paper supply required for its packaging, estimates that enough materials could be produced to offset nearly half of the “virgin fiber” used to box products such as the iPhone and iPad during Apple’s 2014 fiscal year. Apple also announced in May that it would work with the World Wildlife Fund to improve the management of 1 million acres of forestland in China.
Read more.

In Practice
Mollie Aronowitz of the Peoples Company Land Management team draws attention in her latest blog post to the complex issues of nutrient reduction and water quality. The article, with overtones of improving communication among landowners, farm operators and other stakeholders, highlights a University of Northern Iowa research project that will include the installation of prairie strips on a 70-acre farm in Tama County, Iowa.
Read more.

Dealing Dirt
The Dirt Dealer Jeffrey Obrecht in a recent blog post expounds on the most appropriate method of marketing agricultural real estate: Land auction or private treaty? The Peoples Company land agent and auctioneer considers how customer service and a seller’s best interests fit with the decision on how to liquidate a farm.
Read more.

White Paper
Peoples Company, in conjunction with Mike Duffy, Professor Emeritus at Iowa State University, has co-authored and published a comprehensive study on the importance of “Socially Responsible Farmland Investing.” The white paper, which presents a thought-provoking look at how farmland owners, farmers and society work together to feed the world and conserve the land, is now available to view or download with no obligation from the Peoples Company website.
Read more.

New View
​Agricultural real estate appraiser Jim Rothermich has joined Peoples Company as the newest addition to the organization’s team of land brokerage, land management and land investing services specialists. Rothermich, an​ ​active member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Appraisal,​ ​has worked for nearly three decades in the fields of agricultural economics, farm production, land appraisals and real estate sales.​
Read more.

Posted in Conservation Practices, Headlines, In The News, Land Auctions, Land Investing, Land Management, Land Sales | Tagged | Leave a comment

In the Tallgrass: Practicing What We Preach

Over the past two years, Peoples Company has taken a hard look at the water quality issues outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. After all the meetings we’ve scheduled and research we’ve read, one thing we are certain: improving water quality in our state is a complex issue that will require a diverse collection of solutions to meet the needs of a diverse collection of farming operations.

The good news is that professionals in the agriculture industry, our state universities and non-profit organizations across the state are working hard to build that menu of solutions.

We feel strongly that this is not solely a farmer’s issue. Landowners must take the first step in improving conservation practices on our Iowa farmland. Peoples Company can help landowners navigate the process of building a conservation plan to protect their asset of farmland. We can also begin the process with farm operators on rented land to incorporate new conservation practices.

Especially when working with a farm operator who may have been renting a parcel for many years, this may not be an easy conversation for a landowner to have. Some farm operators have a strong sense of ownership and sense of how things have been done on their rented acres.

Peoples Company land manager Randy Luze likes to begin the conversation with farm operators by telling them the conservation practices he is testing out on his own farms – on farmland he both rents and owns. Randy’s motto is to never ask a farm operator to try a new conservation practice he hasn’t tried on his own farms in Tama County, Iowa.

New this year, Randy is working with University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center to install seven acres of prairie strips on 70 acres north of Dysart, Iowa, as part of a research project called Prairie on the Farms. Prairie strips planted within the field have shown to stop erosion, reduce nutrient loss, improve soil quality and support monarch butterflies and other wildlife. The center’s Prairie on the Farms project is funded by the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Center, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service.

To learn more about prairie strips as a conservation practice, we hope you will join Randy on his farm for a demonstration workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2. The focus of the event will be site assessment and preparation, side-by-side comparison of three different prairie seed mixes planted in mid spring, and how to determine an appropriate location for prairie plantings on a working farm.

Prairie strip plantings is one of many conservation practices we can test and potentially add to our menu of solutions. The more farmer operators willing to experiment, the faster we will create a menu of conservation practices able to make significant difference in water quality.

To attend the Tallgrass Prairie Center’s demonstration workshop on Randy’s farm and learn event specifies, please register by May 25 with Ashley Kittle at, or call (319) 273-3828.

Posted in Agribusiness, Conservation Practices, Headlines, In The News, Land Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Peoples Company and Land Donations to Support Iowa FFA

At Peoples Company, we understand that a plot of land is often only as fruitful as the person who farms it. And in the business of agriculture, it takes someone truly passionate, dedicated and strong willed to take on the task of providing the goods that sustain our country.

Future Farmers of America, more commonly known as FFA, is an organization that cultivates the skills and values of farming in the minds of over 14,500 students throughout Iowa today.

From a students perspective
By participating in FFA, students learn valuable leadership and career skills through agricultural education and hands-on challenges. Josh Remington, Executive Director of the Iowa FFA Foundation,Iowa FFA Foundation explains what students gain from taking part in FFA:

“As a student, have you ever asked yourself while sitting in class, ‘How is this applicable to what I want to do?’” said Remington. “In FFA, students are introduced to concepts from subjects such as math and geometry, but connected to real-life agricultural situations. For example, while calculating the diameter of a shape, they apply it to the topic of designing a plant nursery.”

Classroom education is merely one component of FFA.

The organization continues its agricultural education beyond pencil and paper – developing its own projects known as Supervised Agricultural Experience programs. FFA also provides the platform for students to demonstrate the mastery of both classroom and hands-on knowledge through competitive Career Development Events.

Students compete against other FFA chapters to articulate their craft and skills at a high level, and for a chance to advance to the national championships. FFA is not just for individuals wanting to follow the traditional career path of farming, Remington explains.

“There is becoming a desire among students to understand where our food comes from,” he said. “Students are interested in learning more about the different avenues food and resource production takes, and how they can help support the growing global population.”

What Remington identified as one of the first “S.T.E.M” curriculums, members of FFA have found themselves in more than 300 different occupations – from farmers to senators.

Why donate?
The Iowa FFA Foundation was founded in 1986. The foundation recognized that there was a growing need for funds and support to local Iowa FFA chapters, and there was also a strong willingness within the Iowa community to support agricultural education.

Today, the foundation continues its efforts to support FFA through gifts of land and monetary donations. The organization raised $1.2 million dollars last year, and is hoping for an increase of donations in 2015.

“It is a misconception that FFA is a dying organization,” Remington said. “FFA membership is at an all time high, but with record membership brings record need.”

Donating to the Iowa FFA Foundation is mutually beneficial, helping FFA students while receiving a tax benefit! The foundation accepts land, money and other items such as cars, tractors and grain. The foundation can also be part of an individual’s estate planning and gifting.

If you are a beneficiary of land, the donation of a few acres could save you from the heavy tax burden of the inheritance.

“In some cases, by donating 10 to 20 acres of land you’ve inherited, you can relieve the tax difference of the whole farm,” said Remington. “With inherited money, one could also donate it as endowment for FFA scholarships. Through a scholarship you can further the legacy of your loved one while fostering the future of FFA.”

Supporting FFA with the resources it needs to provide students with the best possible experience is a donation for the future of food and resource production in America. Current and future FFA members will use the skills they learn to provide resources to our donors and the country as a whole.

How to donate?
That’s where we come in.

Peoples Company can help facilitate the gifting of land to the FFA. We can advise on the donation of land to a landowners’ accountant, attorney, tax advisor or estate planning personnel. Whether you are interested in writing the donation into your will, or you presently have a couple acres you would like to render to the cause, Peoples Company can assure you that your land will be used to the support of agricultural education.

Although Peoples Company is not an attorney, trust officer, or financial advisor; we work closely with charitable organizations and foundations with the sale and property management for gifts of land that they would receive. Another way we serve the FFA Foundation is as a resource in directing potential donors to the professional that can help in facilitating gifts to the foundation. We’re also able to explain to someone how a gift would affect their tax liability.

Peoples Company has supported the Iowa FFA Foundation this year through contributions to its annual gala, and promoting the gifting of agricultural real estate during the 2015 Land Investment Expo. If you are interested in supporting FFA via the donation of land, contact Matt Adams at

Posted in Agribusiness, Estate Planning, Headlines, In The News, Land Expo | Leave a comment

White Paper on Socially Responsible Farmland Investing Shows Benefits of New Practices

CLIVE, Iowa – Changing demographics is driving a trend by next-generation landowners to manage for appreciation and create sustainability through socially responsible farming practices, a new white paper published by agricultural real estate brokerage and land auction firm Peoples Company asserts.

Land investors, innovative farmers, as well as anyone interested in a better understanding of this trending topic can access the free white paper, “Socially Responsible Farmland Investing,” through the Peoples Company website.

Socially Responsible Farmland Investment“Socially Responsible Farmland Investing” describes the “complex interdependencies” that play into the idea of a practical use of farmland as an asset class, and its relation to the fabric and norms of society. World population scenarios for 9 billion people by 2050 carry with them a set of incomplete, contradictory and changing problems to solve: How will we feed all these people? How can we do it with the least environmental impact? How would this affect local producers and landowners? How will we produce enough food at a price everyone can afford?

“The era of socially responsible land investing has dawned due to societal issues facing agriculture,” writes Peoples Company President Steve Bruere, who co-authored the report with Michael Duffy, Ph.D., the Iowa State University Professor Emeritus of Economics known for his annual Iowa Land Value Survey. The 24-page document also includes an interview with Stine Seed President and Founder Harry Stine on high population corn, plus articles on multi-hybrid planters from Kinze Manufacturing, beginning farmer programs from the Iowa Agricultural Development Division, new technology conservation practices from the Iowa Soybean Association, and more.

Amid changes in farming practices tied to weather patterns and water availability, current events show mounting issues ag must face: the Des Moines Water Works nitrate lawsuit against three upstream counties, the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy for soil conservation and water quality, the Clean Water Act definition of “Waters of the United States,” immigration reform for farm workers, California’s egg law for chicken welfare, and ongoing debate on the Renewable Fuel Standard’s corn ethanol mandate.

“Our reasoning behind presenting a case for making socially responsible farmland investing decisions is to promote food for thought regarding these challenges,” Bruere states.

Although farmers sometimes feel society is unfair or doesn’t understand their challenges, the white paper argues to embrace rather than resist the movement for socially responsible farmland investing. In practice, it forces landowners and farmers to come together to find and implement the answers to societal issues facing agriculture. “While this topic can be the subject of debate and create awkward conversations, I’m convinced society, farmers and landowners are more in alignment than one might expect,” Bruere quips.

For his part, economist Duffy outlines how farmers and investors alike can potentially benefit from this considered approach to farmland investment. A surge of interest by investors in farmland during the recent run-up in land values and low returns elsewhere in the economy is combining with demographic and production changes to alter who owns the land and how it will be farmed over the coming years. A spike in non-farmer landowners has added weight to concerns that support the notion of socially responsible investment in farmland, as well.

“We’re seeing a distinct trend among owners and investors toward the comprehensive strategies, best practices and innovative tools that constitute socially responsible management,” Duffy notes. “Altogether, these multiple objectives can work hand in hand to improve yield, reduce operating costs and increase a farm’s relative value.”

Shifting forces in the land industry also have caused a transformational shift in real estate firm Peoples Company, which offers agricultural land brokerage, land management, land appraisal and land investment services, according to Bruere.

The company has become signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), an investor initiative in partnership with the U.N. Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the U.N. Global Compact, which acts according to six principles of socially responsible investing. Peoples Company is believed to be the only service provider in the network that provides land management and land investment services in the United States.

Peoples Company also has shifted the approach of its Land Management division toward managing farmland for annual income and appreciation in the role of a “fiduciary of farmland fertility.”

“Trust officers and farm managers recognize they have a fiduciary duty to conserve a farm’s soil and to protect the fertility and long-term productivity of the asset,” Bruere said. “But trust and management documents don’t contain many provisions addressing conservation or sustainability, and there aren’t many standards or legal precedents to guide a trustee’s management decisions.”

To aid in this discretion, the Land Management team at Peoples Company can articulate and document fertility and yield histories to help clients negotiate a lease or sell a farm. It also can partner with trust departments for management agreements, and to implement systems that will enhance annual income and asset appreciation.

Peoples Company produced the “Socially Responsible Farmland Investing” white paper, committed to the PRI Initiative, and adopted the sustainable Land Management focus in response to this complex array of demographics and economics, social initiatives and new technology that increasingly impacts the land business, Bruere said.

“The farmland asset class is maturing, and the next generation of landowners will have high expectations for their investment, including sustainability, annual income and appreciation. Our goal is to provide knowledge to help make informed decisions and fuel meaningful discussion regarding farmland investment, and especially farmland investment in a framework of social responsibility.”

Click here to access the Peoples Company white paper, “Socially Responsible Farmland Investing.” For more information, visit or phone 855-800-LAND (5263).

Posted in Agribusiness, Headlines, In The News, Land Appraisal, Land Appraisals, Land Expo, Land Investing, Land Management, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Land Investment Monthly – April 2015

The Land Investment Monthly is a round-up of articles and headlines published by the farm press, business media and financial publications with insights into buying, selling or investing in farmland, recreational ground or development ground. Follow Steve Bruere @SBruere on Twitter and find Peoples Company on Facebook for the latest land listings, auction results, upcoming events and real estate news. To subscribe to my monthly updates via email, send a message to with “Land Investment Monthly” in the subject line.

Farm Fuel
Biofuels Digest considers the relationship among wealth, spending, crop prices, productivity and the GDP in light of the Iowa farm sector’s impact on the U.S. economy over the past 15 years. A “key to prosperity” associated with rising land values is a central theme of the article drawing attention to the 3.9 billion gallons of ethanol and 227 million gallons of biodiesel produced in the state last year. “So there you have it,” writes Jim Lane. “A success story in the agricultural sector.”
Read more.


Super Sale
A beef producer in Australia is listing for sale the largest farm in the world. The Anna Creek ranch covers nearly 24,000 square kilometers; more ground then the state of New Jersey. The largest U.S. farm – Wagoner Ranch in Texas – consists of 535,000 contiguous acres equivalent to 2,165 square kilometers. S. Kidman & Co. owns 155,000 head of branded cattle and is responsible for 1.3 percent of all boxed-beef exports coming out of Australia. reports. In related news, Stock & Land reports that changing demographics in Australia will lead to large numbers of agricultural properties hitting the market over the next 10 years.
​Read more.​

Fair Exchange?
Dave Brown digs into the potential negative effects​ of House and Senate proposals aimed at eliminating Section 1031 of the U.S. tax code. 1031, or “like-kind,” exchanges, allow domestic businesses to efficiently expand and prosper while stimulating economic growth. Farmers and ranchers can also defer tax​, ​while at the same time promoting environmental conservation​, ​by selling easements on environmentally sensitive parcels to conservation organizations, and then reinvesting in more productive, less sensitive farmland. Brown’s article in The Land Report goes into the history of like-kind exchanges, followed by a call to preserve 1031s for companies that support and facilitate the ownership of real property.
Read more.​

​Ag Rep
Iowa Rep. Peter Cownie shares with Des Moines Register readers some fast facts on Iowa’s agricultural sector. He highlights the state’s diverse economy, alongside the importance of ag education in legislative realms. Cownie, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, points to data reflective of Iowa’s leading role in the production of corn, soybeans, eggs, cattle, pork, and turkey.
Read more.

Land Values
Results of the spring Land Trends and Values Survey produced by the Iowa Chapter of the REALTORS Land Institute are in with a 7.6 percent statewide average decrease being reported for the September 2014 to March 2015 period. Each of the state’s nine crop reporting districts showed decreases in land values since September 2011, varying from a 4.6 percent decline in the Southwest district to a 11.0 percent decrease in the northeastern portion of the state. Lower commodity prices, a limited amount of land on hand, and a lack of stable alternative investments have each contributed to current conditions.
Read more.

Seed Money
The Wall Street Journal covers soaring investments in agriculture and food production as wireless technologies, new tools for collecting and monitoring crops, and demand for alternative eats give rise to a new breed of agricultural-minded entrepreneurs. Venture-capital investment in the sector increased 54 percent to $486 million last year. The report on Silicon Prairie’s fascination with dirt dishes up ideas on everything from precision agriculture to ​food safety, robots and indoor farming.
Read more.

Water Woes
An Iowa farmer quoted in the New York Times says progress is being made in regards to the state’s voluntary nutrient reduction program efforts, even as the top official of the Water Works Park utility in Des Moines continues singling out agriculture in rural portions of the state. The issue over nitrates resulted in Water Works Park’s decision to sue three Iowa counties. Meanwhile, farmers eager to employ conservation practices are discussing next steps, including strategies that involve the use of cover crops or taking the most sensitive areas of farmland out of production altogether.
Read more.​

Posted in Cash Rents, Headlines, In The News, Land Investing, Land Management, Land Values, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join Me at This Year’s Monopoly Fundraiser in West Des Moines

This year’s Monopoly Game Tournament is scheduled for April 30, and you’re invited to play in support of a good cause at the Embassy Club West Des Moines.

The 2015 tournament – sponsored by Peoples Company, UNI Business and NAI Optimum – will be flush with opportunities to network with UNI Real Estate and Finance students, alumni and other employers.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the UNI Center for Real Estate Education, including program operating expenses, student development activities and continuation of the school’s state-of-the art curriculum.

The tournament runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m., with a preliminary round and a final round each lasting one hour, as five dealmakers per table try to accumulate more property, wealth and Monopoly cash than their fellow players.

You can register to play for $75. Table sponsorships are available for $500. Sponsorship includes recognition at the table being sponsored. In addition to the appetizers, each participant and sponsor will be provided with two drink tickets redeemable at the cash bar.

My challenge for you is to monopolize on an opportunity to support real estate education in Iowa, have fun testing your skills, and enjoy some friendly competition in this ever-popular American board game.

Contact Becky Rozenboom at (515) 222-1347 with any questions – or to register today. We look forward to sitting down with you on Thursday, April 30, at the Embassy Club in West Des Moines.

Posted in Headlines, In The News, Upcoming Events | Tagged , | Leave a comment