An upcoming Farmland Investment Fair offers information on buying and selling farmland. (Photo by Carrie Muehling)
By Carrie Muehling
JOLIET – Farmland is a popular investment tool right now.
Each year a program at Joliet Junior College offers the latest information about buying and selling farmland. The program is coordinated by The Chicago Farmers, with topics relating not only to the movement of farmland, but also agriculture production practices. This year’s program is a similar format to the last several years, with more than 40 exhibitors and a variety of breakout sessions.
“Farmland prices are at historic highs,” said Jeff Martin, chairman of the Farmland Investment Fair for The Chicago Farmers. “A lot of interest from not only producers, but outside investment people looking at farmland as a possible investment. And the ones that have invested in farmland have been pretty happy, so I see that pattern continuing in the future.”
In the past, the most well attended sessions have been on farmland values. In addition to that topic, this year’s sessions include meeting global demand through innovation, bridging the gap between consumers and farmers, cover crops, managing drainage and many others. Martin said things have changed significantly since the fair began during the 1980s, with lots of outside interest and even global interest in today’s market.
“It’s a whole different ballgame, and things are changing so fast in the technology world that you have to keep up on these things to keep ahead of the game,” said Martin.
Ten years ago the big theme for the Farmland Investment Fair was 1031 exchanges, but today the interest is primarily from those looking at farmland as an investment for the long term. They are often not in the farming business themselves, so many are looking for producers to farm the ground.
This year’s Farmland Investment Fair is Feb. 2 at Joliet Junior College in the Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center. Martin encouraged registering ahead of time to help organizers with scheduling. Pre-registration is $50, which includes lunch. Walk up registration will be $75 on the day of the event.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com.