Investors - SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

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NMERB commits $30m to agriculture fund

by Reg Clodfelter

The $11.2 billion New Mexico Educational Retirement Board has committed $30 million to the Southern Pastures fund, an agricultural fund that targets dairy farms in New Zealand.

“We looked at numerous alternatives from the United States, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and elsewhere and concluded the drivers behind New Zealand dairy will provide superior risk-adjusted returns in comparison to alternatives,” explains Mark Canavan, senior portfolio manager with NMERB. “Plus, it adds a great diversifier effect. The protein requirements of Asia, the increasing demand for milk, the increasing demand for food safety. All would point to a strong underlying demand for NZ dairy products.”

According to its website, Southern Pastures is the largest institutional farmland fund in New Zealand and is focused on utilizing free-range, grass-fed and animal welfare–based sustainable dairy farming to

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