September 30, 2020

Farming 101 | Understand Your Farm Investment


Video Transcript

0:02

All right, great. We'll get started here. Today, as a reminder, this is an overview of farming 101. So we're going to talk a lot about how farming actually works, what goes on, on the farm. And look at an asset class from from a top-down and bottom-up as well.

As a reminder at acre trader and investing in farmland, we are not farmers. So a lot of what we're discussing today is the farmer, what their day-to-day business activities are and how they manage their business. But as a reminder, they typically manage their business and pay rent to AcreTrader and that's what's distributed out to you, the investors or to us, the investors, as I often participate in farmland investing on the site as well. So I'll get started here.

0:45

Some fun disclaimers, the presenters today. I'm here, founder and CEO of the company. We've also got both Garrott and Ben.

They help lead up our farm operations and farmland sourcing and diligence. We've got a team of five and growing there. And in doing the underlying sourcing of farmland and diligence and as a reminder, we, we underwrite ultimately far, far less than 1% of the farms that we see and we take through our software and and review processes.

1:15

Acre trader again is a very quick reminder. Very simply, we are a marketplace to bring what we view as an incredible asset to market for investors to get access to this.

1:25

With minimum purchases, starting at $10,000, and our goal for you, the investors, to make this a truly passive investment, so that you own farmland and we take care of everything else. Again, how we do it is very simple, a parcel of land, a unique parcel of land, goes into, a unique LLC for you, the investors, to invest in and hold that.

The LLC is divided into units or shares that you then would hold on our website. And for a very quick overview again of why we're so excited about farmland as an asset class, in professional investing and in individual investing, portfolio diversification is the name of the game.

2:07

Achieving better risk adjusted returns is what we're all after, and that's why we're so excited about farmland investing, is it does stand up really well, relative to each other asset classes, in that it is typically not correlated to them. It has a much lower volatility profile, so you'll see the big swings and price. And it is a hard asset.

So unlike, owning a bond, where you get a coupon, and maybe you get paid out at par in the end, we, as landowners, are getting paid a coupon via rent, but also the idea is that land compounds in value underneath you, as you own it.

2:39

So with that, I'll stop talking and let let Garrott hop in here.

Overview of the Agriculture Sector

2:45

Thanks, Carter. Alright, so today, I'm gonna be going over a couple of things and then I'm gonna hand it off to Ben. First, we're just going to talk about the farm industry makeup. So that's kind of where the revenues sit with each crop type within each state, and then also where the land mass sits. After that, we'll be going over some specifics about row crop or field crops, Supply chain, Financials involved in farming row crops,

3:17

In season decision making about what farmers do, and then also, how do we think about all of those things in the context of being a land owner. After that, Ben is going to talk to you a bit about trends in agriculture and where farming is going.

3:34

What you're gonna see here is US agriculture is geographically concentrated. These top 15 states make up two thirds of all revenues for US farmland. It's pretty astounding how concentrated it is. But if you look, you may, you may kind of realize, this makes sense.

3:57

All right, we're seeing a lot of large states in terms of landmass, and then also states that typically, you think of as farming states. You wouldn't expect to see a New York or Delaware in this list, but seeing a Texas as a top three with massive amounts of land makes a lot of sense. California has a bit of an outlier, but we'll talk about that in just a minute.

4:21

So, if we go to the next slide, what you'll see is US ag is also crop concentrated. Field crops or row crops, you kinda use those terms interchangeably, they make up about $150 billion annually in terms of revenues. And then fruit and nut crops make up about $30 billion.

4:45

So field crops are generally thought of as grains, oilseeds, beans, that kind of thing. And then fruit and nut crops are generally citrus and non citrus fruits and nuts as well. So it's pretty astonishing to see that change, but then we're gonna move over our next slide and we'll see how that looks by acres.

Now, this is your row crops and field crops. Obviously, the second column is total number of acres and then percentage is third column. What's astonishing is that two top crops are 65 and the top three or 83% of the total row crops for the U S. Now, the US has roughly 300 million acres of row crops, this chart makes up 230 million.

5:35

Now, this isn't necessarily bad. What we typically think about is in corn and soybeans and wheat, there are a lot of uses for a myriad of uses. We have human food, animal food, ethanol oils, and lots of other byproducts being made from these crops and because there's this massive demand, that's why there is a massive supply. So we can go the next one now Carter.

6:04

So in fruit and nut crops, we have 2.5 million acres represented on this slide of the 300 million. Now that's less than 1% of the total landmass in the US.

6:20

What is really interesting is, this is 15 to 20% of the total revenue in US farming. And that's purely because these crops are such high revenue, high revenue crops. Now, we definitely plan to have more of these offerings on the website in the future, but this is so specialized in comparison to row crops, that we want to devote some more time to this individually.

6:51

So we'll cover most of, or we'll cover, specialty crops in a different webinar.

Diversifying Farm Investments

7:01

So, a question we often get related to crops is, how do I diversify? Do I need to diversify by owning blueberries, as well as corn and soybeans?

Well, that is useful, but not as much as it seems. Instead, it may be worth considering how to diversify a land portfolio by land type and geography, as well as soils and tenants.

So, you see here the way we think about diversification, obviously you have crops on the left. Climate is really thought of as regions and is how you diversify by climate. Because climate will be different and Louisiana than it is in Arkansas, than Iowa, than Washington.

7:46

And so if you cover many different states and regions, you cover different climates that may have different patterns going on within the year. Weather, you will have different weather patterns within continent. So you may have different rain events happening across a region, where there are 3 or 4 states.

And then tenants, obviously, and farmers, one farmer may use one type of seed, or he may lean heavier in corn and soybeans or may grow cotton. And so those will have different income possibilities for the farmer, and then also potentially upstream to the landowner.

8:27

So that's a bit of how we understand the, the overall industry, and if we go to the next slide, what we're gonna go over is, we're sorry, that's the broader industry, we're going to drill down one level further into how the industry players work and then how landowners and Farmers interact.

8:50

Farming Supply Chain

So if you go to the next slide, what we'll see is a slide we borrowed from our friends at Stevens, who put together an industry overview.

In the blue, you see, these are upstream manufacturers, seed production, chemical production. in yellow, you see who we deal with, primarily. These people actually on the farm with their hands in the dirt.

9:15

And gray is logistics and shipping of net product to the brown, which is processing. And then blue is end user. Now, where we will concentrate is in orange or yellow.

9:30

This is primarily an area where landowners' sit, but what's interesting is you actually don't see landowners in this yellow section. Now if you go to the next slide, you may see why.

9:46

Most land is owned by the operator. This is the green slice.

9:53

Now, you will see that the, the owner, and this is essentially meaning, the former, pays himself, rent or herself in this section.

10:03

Then, you have the pink section, which is basically, farmers sometimes buy land in several counties over, or a state over, or in a different region and then they'll rent it out to other operators. And then, in the blue, this is more familiar with the investing audience. This area is people who own farmland as investments. So, this 21% you see in gray, that's going to be primarily people who may live in a farming area and have bought land for an investment, individuals.

10:33

Or, there may be people whose fathers or grandfathers or grandmothers have owned land, and they inherited it, and then you have the pink over here on the far right.

10:44

And these are some corporations are privately owned, but primarily this is going to be private equity funds that own farmland and REITs the known farmland and this is a growing sector. There's about $30 billion in assets under management. Right now in this sector and it was only $3 billion, 10 years ago.

11:04

We anticipate there will grow even faster And we're hearing from our friends who work in these companies that interest is high for investment because of the time that, Pardon.

11:16

So thinking about how this is structured, we're going on to the next slide. And this is just kind of a simple explanation of how the arrangement works for that section that you thought of or the blue section in the previous slide. You essentially have a landowner holding a title to land.

11:34

He rents, has a rental contract, going to a farmer, farmer pays him rent, then takes his crop inputs and labor grows a crop, harvests that cropa and then takes the crop to grain Merchants like an Archer Daniels Midland, who he will sell it to and then receive revenues for that crop.

11:55

There are just not really a lot of great, simple explanations of how that arrangement works on the internet. And we want we thought it was worthwhile going over.

12:03

How Farmers Think About Their Business

So thinking more about the farmer. This is this next section will be how farmers think on a yearly or daily basis. Not necessarily how they think about their capital and whether they invest in new or old equipment, how they take out debt, how much debt they take out, we can leave that for a different time. This is going to focus on how do I grow a crop in this year with all the assets that I have.

12:35

So the first slide is looking at kind of typical expenses for a farmer, revenues, and then profits.

12:46

So you can see here, the two biggest expenses are inputs and cash rent. This is also coming from the University of Iowa crop production budgets.

12:58

Most states have extension services, which help farmers thinking about all kinds of things, from budgeting to how to grow the crop most effectively.

13:11

So the, you know, what we what we want to point out on this is, while rent is a large portion of expenses, it's also the most expensive asset that a farmer has to buy on a per acre basis. And so many farmers think about, I would rather pay rent in order to expand the operation than to own every single acre of that farm.

13:38

Another thing that's worth pointing out here is that revenue risk is something that is managed extremely tightly. So you're going to have maybe a slightly different, in years where commodity prices are very high, you'll have people thinking about how do I maximize yield because I want to maximize revenue.

13:59

But in most normal times, people are going to think about, how do I make sure that I manage my cost effectively so that I can have a chance for the weather to give me the best outcome possible.

14:13

Then the next slides after this will focus on how does a farmer manage that risk within a season? Now, deciding what to plant is the first thing.

14:26

And this is a mix of and you'll see this trend throughout the rest of the slides, it's a mix of economic and environmental aspects to the question.

14:37

So, environmental, this is a decision for people in the mid-west who generally will grow mostly corn and soybeans. If you go down into the Mississippi Delta region, you may have cotton as well. If you go into Louisiana, you can have sugarcane. And so the decisions become more complex, but we're trying to make this a simpler explanation, so let's consider corn and soybeans. And for example, maybe in this year, soybeans are more profitable on a per acre basis than corn.

15:11

Well, a farmer still has fixed costs he has to cover. Corn generally will have higher revenues than soybeans as well.

15:19

So he has to grow a certain amount of corn, so that he covers fixed costs while still making profit on his soybeans. And additionally, you'll have some rotational questions, which will kind of bring us into our next slide, which is you have to think about where to plant your portfolio, quote, unquote of soybeans and corn. So maybe you want 40% in corn and 60% in soybeans. Your fields, may not allow you to do that.

15:53

That's purely because of, how well does the, let's say you have 100 fields, how well do those match up with the crops that you want to grow?

16:03

So on the right you have a soil triangle and this is the different types of soil. So, clay generally has smaller particles and will hold water and nutrients better than a sand on the bottom left, which has larger particles and drains water more effectively, silt is a little bit of a mix between the two.

16:24

So Clay is more favored in the mid-west because it's going to hold more water and nutrients, in the Mississippi Delta where there's more water availableit's generally not his favorite, a sandy dirt is is preferred because or sandy loam, because it will hold so many nutrients but also water drain off. And also you can grow cotton in the area and cotton, which grows primarily throughout the Mississippi Delta region and Texas prefers a sandy type of soil. And then on the left, you have a map of a field.

17:04

And this is just to show you that one field may not necessarily be only one type of soil. And so a farmer has to decide, well, what's the majority of this soil on this farm? And does it fit the crop that I want to put there?

17:18

So moving to the next slide, you have deciding when to plant, you know, there are two aspects to this.

17:26

The first, you see when to plant is you have certain windows in which you can think about planting. So let's call it a 30 day window to plant corn well. You may see on your forecast that it's going to rain in one day, can get your full field planted before it rains and is that effective?

Or, it may have rained 10 days ago and 60% of your field is dry. Do you want to plant that 60%, and wait and hopefully the next 40% will be dry by the time you finish? There's a lot of considerations within a small weather window.

And then what you're seeing here is the first leaf appearance in spring. Now, this is primarily to show you the different climates that you have throughout the US. These climates will, if you move the the most for about two months, that's when most people will start planting in those different regions. And so they have to consider what are the planting windows that I can fit in, for my different crops.

18:30

And then also as the last point, the crops will have different planting windows. So corn may be planted earlier than cotton and then some may match up. So cotton and rice may have to be harvested at the same time and what you're really having to think about as a farmer is what does my portfolio look like, but also how do I manage manage the logistics in season.

18:56

So that brings us to our last slide that I have, which is a crop production plan. Now, this is a lot of information and it looks pretty intimidating, but what you're actually seeing is replicated in fairly similar basis throughout any given region. And it's just simple trips across the field to say, these are the things I have to do to grow a crop.

19:20

Now, again, there are two different types of things that farmer will manage here. One is, how do I think about my cost structure in this, and there are certain levers you can and cannot manage. So in this particular budget and plan, fertilizer is about 37% of your expenses here.

19:40

You can push that up or draw it down some. Harvest is 20%, well, that's not something that you can alter a whole lot. It's just a large expense, and you have to take your crop out of the field. So, within each plan, there are certain levers, but some are really non negotiable.

20:00

Really, again, this is much more simple than it seems. An important reminder though, is that, these are all considerations the farmers doing and we try to make sure that we find farmers who are the best and making these decisions because ultimately, we want them to be partners for a long time and how we get paid is simply rent from a farm. Now, we also consider a lot of longer term trends in the industry and that's what Ben will take you through in the coming slides here.

20:37

Yeah, thank you Garrett. As Garrett mentioned, we wanted to take a moment and we kinda went through how farmers are making decisions today. We also wanted to highlight what farmers are thinking about into the near and distant future, and how they're making decisions based on some of that information. And I think this will also help you all understand how should I be thinking about my investment in farmland going forward?

21:01

So, you know, the first trend that we want to talk about is that the supply and demand function is strong, so we've covered this in other webinars before, but, you know, looking forward to 2050, we see a couple of really important trends as it relates to supply and demand. The first is that we have a global population approaching nine billion people. But we also have a reduction in arable land per capita, and these are results both of residential and commercial development.

21:31

And as we have a growing global population as well as a growing global middle-class, we're going to see a lot more consumption of processed foods and animal based proteins, which require higher amounts of some of the grain crops that Garrett was covering.

21:46

And how that's relevant is we also are seeing some declining annual yield growth. So, we had huge gains in the second half of the 20th century from the Green Revolution in annual yield increases in these commodity crops, but we're actually anticipating, barring any unforeseen advances, significant drops in annual yield increases. So, this is going to further limit supply, going into the future.

22:11

AcreTrader is working to respond to this particular trend in two important ways.

The first is that, you know, we're actually working to keep land in farming and keep farmers on the land.

The second would be that when you invest with acretrader, you're actually positioned at the crux of the supply and demand paradigm. And so you know, that's how you can think about this going forward as it relates to supply and demand and farmland investing.

22:37

The second trend we wanted to cover was farm consolidation. You've probably seen it some in the news. You know, this is driven by a lot of factors. But, you know, a couple of the top reasons for farm consolidation in the US are cost and competition are increasing.

22:52

There is some technological disruption, it's allowing farmers to automate and scale, farming more acreage with less labor than ever before. There are also some non economic factors such as generational turnover. A lot of times, we see intra family consolidation as certain members just decide not to farm anymore and somebody's gonna pick up those acres at the end of the day.

23:16

AcreTrader is responding to this particular trend by working with younger farmers who are looking to expand their acreage, but they need a partner to scale with. We're seeing a lot more of this concept of the farmer CEO who's running a large operation with sophisticated technology management and financing.

At the end of the day, those farmers are looking for a way to expand their acreage without stretching their balance sheet and that's where AcreTrader can be a really powerful solution for them as a partner to solve the real estate part of their business.

23:50

And the final trend we'll talk about just briefly here is this idea of a flight to quality. So as Garrott mentioned earlier, we're seeing some stabilizing and settling of commodity prices. This is a 10 year aspect here and that's really driving premiums for the highest quality land out there.

24:07

The logic here is that higher crop yields and lower farming expense on the best properties, lead to resiliency in cash rental prices and those cash rental prices are directly correlated to long term land values.

24:27

And so, you know, what we see here, this is just one particular study, but it shows that your rents are more resilient on top tier tracts than on average are middling tracts. The best tracks are less sensitive to swings in the marketplace, and so, what we can understand from this is that, when macroeconomic winds change, the best quality farmland is the most resilient. And so we see less of a degradation in rent quality on the best farms, than we do in lower quality farms.

25:00

And then finally, we want to understand how rent ties into land values.

So, on the next slide, we see that there's this idea that excellent quality land actually appreciates greater leading to meaningful long term compounding value creation. And so, at AcreTrader, we're working to purchase high quality farmland and improved farmland that insulates against downturns in land values better than lower quality properties. And, what this means is that we're working to avoid land with poor soils, inadequate water resources, and farms that are located outside of what might be considered prime farming areas.

25:40

Alright, great, and this is Carter, I'll hop back in here to wrap us up on a few slides about AcreTrader, and then we've got a good amount of Q and A, we'll hop into, as well.

The AcreTrader Difference

25:50

So, first, and many of you seen this before, but just a quick overview of our diligence process. This is something that is extremely important to us, and why we harp on it a lot. We, in the five team members on our team, plus me, review farms in extreme detail. This process here, eliminates over 99% of the farms that we see. And so, and again, we've gone over this quite a bit of a previous webinar, and so we'll be happy to share that.

On that webinar, we did get some questions around what we do with geography and how we think about software and so we wanted to share a very quick slide here to show just a few of the ways that we really dig in on individual farms. And again, This is way, too nerdy kind of stuff, but we just want to show you, guys and girls that we take this very seriously and we do extensive, extensive diligence and all of this is available to any investors that want to see it on each farm.

26:53

To quickly highlight where we're seeing really great momentum in our business, and growth in our user base and investments on the platform. Just last week, had $300,000, give or take, come on the platform after a webinar like we did last week and would expect to see something similar here in the near future.

And, again, growing very quickly, as we touched on previously, we just closed a large round of financing that will be out in the press later this week. So, we're really excited to to keep growing with you, and we want to thank some of our board of advisors here. We've got really, really great advisors in the business, in addition to the 20 or so employees that we have. Don here is the Chairman of the London Stock Exchange. Warren is the previous CFO at Amazon. John, was the previous head of operations for JB hunt and Barry's in charge of the world's largest agricultural laboratory.

27:51

So, we've got some really great advisors working with us and in the business.

Questions and Answers

27:58

So, with that, we'll hop into Q&A here and try to try to hop through some questions that you guys have presented.

I'll, I'll hit a few of them out of the gate, and then Ben and Garrett are gonna be on here as well to answer the following questions.


Question: Will there be a secondary market for investors to purchase or sell previously funded projects?

Answer: That's absolutely in the plan. That's something that I've personally spent a lot of time on, as has our General Counsel, and something that we would expect to stand up very soon. For some background there, there is a mandatory lockup requirement on any investment in the offerings or the type of offerings that we and most platforms use. That is a one-year minimum period you have to hold that before you're able to sell. After that point, you are free to sell it if you want to sell to friends or family or through another online exchange, we're happy to help facilitate that.

And again, I think ideally we'd be able to facilitate that on our website and are looking to do that in the near future. Though again, we want to re-iterate we are here to invest in farmland long term. We don't believe this is a day trading type of asset and so would hope that you guys have the same. We're exploring this market simply because we want to respect the comfort liquidity provides you and should you need that liquidity, we certainly want to help to seek that for you.


Question: Are these K-1 or 1099 investments?

Answer: Yes, these are K-1 investments. The great news is with a farm for the landowner is that we really we have rent, which is our revenue minus like insurance, taxes, and net income. It's a dead, simple P&L. This year we got all of our K1's out in February, and we would expect to do so as fast or faster next year. So, it's very, very simple and K1 itself, is very simple for any accountant to go through, or if you do your own taxes as well.


Question: Do you invest in wine grapes and other types of organic farming and do you pay attention to grocery store trends?

Answer: The short answer is, yes, we look at all types of farms, and again, we turn down the extreme, extreme majority of what we look at and and because we view farmland as a great compounding asset, one of wealth preservation, something we want to be cautious around is not chasing trends. The two easiest examples would be jojoba or acai berries that became really hot, tons of money rushed in, and then everybody lost their shirts. We don't want to be part of that next trend, whatever that may be.

So we're very cautious and underwriting and what that translates to in things like grapes, we are interested in things like table grapes where there is a fairly set price that it's not highly volatile. Supply and the demand and the macro economics we've talked a lot about micro economics of the actual farms but the macroeconomics of table grapes are fairly straightforward to understand.

Wine grapes are a whole other can of worms. Never say never, but I'll just be forward, our reservations around wine grapes are consumer demands and preferences can change meaningfully and impact you. If you've got a 20 year standing vineyard out there and suddenly people stopped drinking Merlot, which they did 20 years ago, and a lot of people had to go out and rip those vines out and start fresh and so it's something that we're interested in. We've done a lot of work on, but we just always want to be very cautious in underwriting any types of farms.


Question: How has the coronavirus affected agriculture and labor?

Answer: I can take it for row crops, and I'll let Ben add in some more, he has more experience with some of our local, kind of farm to table producers around the state. What I can tell you, is that the problems are mixed in terms of visas for income and labor. You're going to have some people who were able to get the folks that they usually have on their farms every year and they came in, in January or February, and then some people were a little bit later getting folks in and they're going to have more Trouble having their standard typical tractor drivers and folks helping them out on the farm.

So it various by degrees, but there is definitely labor shift right now and that will be a challenge for some producers, particularly because when you're running a $400,000 tractor it can be complicated. But it's not every single producer and I think people have a way of helping each other out in these types of situations. If one farmer finishes planting all of his fields, you will often go to a neighbor and help him out and the neighbor will pay him for the service of helping him finish planting or doing whatever job needs to be done. People in these communities tend to come together and help get the work done if it really needs to be done.

Ben, what would you add?

Yeah. I don't have too much to add, other than one important point is that, you know, the crops you were covering in this webinar today, Garrott, mainly commodities, grains, you know, they have a much lower labor requirement than something like specialty crop. So, if you're looking at a tomato farmer, melon farm or even a sweet potato farm, something like that is going to require a much greater amount of hand labor, both in the harvest and the post-harvest smoothing and packaging. And so, you know, any effects we see on labor are going to be heavily skewed towards specialty crop producers and a little bit less so towards commodity producers.


Question: Does AcreTrader work with 1031 exchanges?

Answer: On our website where we are effectively securitizing farmland, it's difficult without what's called a Delaware statutory trust. That being said, we do help individual investors purchase whole tracts of land so we can help you identify and we've got a large portfolio of land that we're consistently looking at and underwriting. If one investor ever wants to buy a whole farm, we can absolutely do that through our program and help you to underwrite, acquire, close, and manage that farm through its entire life cycle. So, the short answer is, yes, we can work with 1031 exchange.


Question: How much leverage do you use on a typical farm transaction?

Answer: Most transactions, we actually do not use Leverage, or we use a very, very small amount. There are some where we will use leverage, and those are individual transactions, and will be marked on the website, typically those will still be very low leverage compared to other forms of real estate. So you're looking at maybe max, 60%, but often 40 or 50% leverage. So, we think it's very favorable, and it helps with keeping this a low volatility type of investment. Then the other thing I'll point out is you can look at any individual offering and see what kind of leverage is on it. It will be both in the financials and also in the risk score that we have on each farm.


Question: Do you invest in Califonia farms?

Answer: I think what we can say out loud is, we're really attracted to California for its climate, and it's soils. We are really not attracted to California for its water and the regulations around that. It's not that it's sensible or not sensible. It's simply a reality. It's a very challenging regulatory environment to operate in California. The last California farm we listed, we worked with the sponsor there for six months before for bringing them onto the site because you've got to be incredibly, incredibly cautious in California. And for some more context, on that farm, we worked with four different water consultants, including one that helped to write some of the regulations around that to make sure that we're underwriting the water properly. We're very paranoid, you know, always in investing, This is our livelihood, and so making sure that we do it right and we invest correctly on behalf of the investors is really important for us as a platform.

Long answer is California's really interesting. There are some great investments there. There are some bad ones too and so you know, buyer beware, if you're investigating there individually or acquiring farms individually we'd be happy to help with or work with you on that because it can be quite daunting.


Question: What regions are your farm investments in?

Answer: You know, there's a couple different ways to answer that question. The first is that, you know, all the farms we currently have available to invest in are on the website right now. So you can go there and check them out. The second way to think about that is, we are open to putting investments on our platform really from any area, but we have a couple of different reasons that we might exclude certain types of areas as we go through our diligence process.

The first is that we want to make sure that there's a good farmer base in any area that we're investing in.

The second would be, we want to make sure that that area has a demonstrated history of really strong yields that are again going to correlate to strong rent.

And finally, we want to make sure there's a potential for long term land appreciation in that area. So as Carter mentioned, if there are issues with water supply, there may not be the same sort of appreciation as there might be in a different region. And you know, it's a great moment to highlight the farm we do have on our site right now, the one in Illinois really checks all those boxes, and that's one of the reasons that made it through our diligence process.


Question: How does AcreTrader compare to farmland REITs and would you set up your own fund?

Answer: A private REIT is something we have explored in the past, but what we're really excited about what we bring to market is sort of the inverse of a fund in that you know exactly what you're investing in and you can be comforted that this team plus a lot more people have put eyes on that and boots on that, and very, very real diligence behind each farm we put up on our website.

And so you have crystal clear transparency into the specific asset that you own. And again, I think because of the minimums, you're able to diversify and own, you know, 2, 3, 5, 10 different farms on our website and still have a lower cost of ownership than owning just one single farm on your own. So, that's what we're really excited about bringing to market here.


Question: How do you select farmers for your properties and how much access do we have into their farming operation?

Answer: We underwrite our farmers, or tenants, the farmers that are operating and working on this land. We do extensive diligence on them, and we're happy to share what we can out of respect for privacy for them. They often don't want to share their own P&L or balance sheet with the public, which I think we can all understand. Though, again, we internally do go through a lot of diligence with them and and work with them to make sure that we are working alongside them and helping them as a partner and not just a demanding landlord.

So it's something that they're able to get by speaking with Ben and Garrott and Grant and Trevor and John on our farm diligence team. These guys have very, very real on the ground experience operating farms and are often able to lend some of that expertise and share some of that experience with different types of agricultural technology, or software, or their experience with various seed varieties and planters, et cetera.

So long story short, it's very important to us to partner with the farmer and make sure that this is a winning transaction for them as well.


I think we'll coming up on about 45 minute mark here. One of the things that I said last time, and I hope to say every time, is if we didn't get to your question on this webinar, we will follow up with you individually by e-mail, or call or both and feel free to reach out to us.

You have here are our e-mail address, our phone is on the website, and there are also many other ways to contact us by forms on the website as well.

We want to say thank you again, and we're sorry, there's another 20 plus questions that have come in here in the last 10 minutes or so. So, we're really sorry, we're not getting to all of you. We will reach out to you individually to make sure we get your questions answered. We'll also share an e-mail to to make sure you have this webcast available for replay.

So, thank you again, to all of you for joining us today, And we hope to speak to you soon.


Note: The information above is not intended as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For additional risk disclosures regarding farmland investing and the risks of investing on AcreTrader, please see individual farm offering pages as well as our terms and conditions.