Buying the farm: Investors are eating up farmland and being rewarded with fat returns
1 Folksy images of the family farm are strongly ingrained in the American imagination. It is a romantic legacy from an earlier time when 90 percent of the population made its living as farmers and collectively built the backbone of what became a great nation — and the world’s most productive food producer. The demands placed on America’s bread-basket have not let up, with a growing world population that has a seemingly boundless appetite. The traditional model of family farming has evolved into a corporate structure that is increasingly productive. Investors and investment managers have taken notice and turned agriculture into an asset class that is growing in popularity. Major institutional players are looking to farmland as a diversifier, and investment managers are expanding their scope, snapping up U.S. farmland and casting their gaze out to Brazil and Australia, other emerging farmland economies.