Changing Dynamics in Farm Ownership & Agricultural Finance

A workshop June 6-7, 2016, examined the implications of newly evolving trends in the financial landscape of today’s agriculture, including the dynamics of farmland ownership. Farmers, landowners, investors and members of the finance, agribusiness and public policy communities participated.

The workshop, which took place in Louisville, KY, was a collaboration of Farm Foundation, NFP, USDA’s Economic Research Service and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

Several years of strong commodity prices and growing global demand for high quality, nutritious food stimulated greater investment in agricultural resources worldwide. Even though commodity prices have now declined, interest in farmland remains robust. Investors outside of the agricultural sector, including financial services firms, are increasingly purchasing farmland.

Other financial developments also are at play in the farm sector today. Farmers wanting to keep their land, invest in capital assets, adapt to changing supply chains, and expand operations have been able to take advantage of organizational structures, such as C- and S- corporations and gifting property.

Presentations from the workshop are posted here as speakers permit.

Keynote/paper presentation: Landownership Trends and Impacts:  Bruce Sherrick, University of Illinois

Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Lands (TOTAL):  Jeffrey Hopkins, Economic Research Service, USDA

Farmer/Landowner Panel
Kevin Green, Greenview Farms, Dewitt, IA
Don Villwock, Villwock Farms, Edwardsport, IN
Paul Pittman, Farmland Partners, Denver, CO
Craig Yunker, CY Farms, LLC, Elba, NY
Ben Abell, Kentucky

Keynote/paper presentation: Reconciling Farm Policy to Farm Policy Needs: Jonathan Coppess, University of Illinois

Lender Panel
Corny Gallagher, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Michael Jacobson, NebraskaLand National Bank
J. Robert Frazee, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, retired
Paul Marsh, Prudential Ag Investments
David Key, Key and Company, LLC

Table Top Discussions on Farm Policy Issues
Credit Programs, Moderator: David Freshwater, University of Kentucky
Commodity & Crop Insurance Programs, Moderator: Brad Lubben, University of Nebraska
Conservation Programs, Moderator: John Larson, American Farmland Trust

Workshop summary/closing comments: Brad Lubben and Neil Conklin, Farm Foundation, NFP


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