It calls itself “the Airbnb of farmland,” but a lot of tenant farmers are using much saltier language to describe Chicago-based technology platform Tillable. Naysayers took to Twitter and Facebook to voice concern about the company’s intention to disrupt the long-established landlord-tenant model on leased farmland, which accounts for 40 percent of the acreage farmed nationwide. On a podcast released in late February, Rob Sharkey (“the Shark Farmer”) quizzed CEO Corbett Kull about how Tillable arrives at its price-per acre. Kull explained that his company, which launched in 2017, looks at everything from property taxes to yield in order to arrive at what it deems fair market value. Tillable then mails letters to prospective landowners, floating possible payments. Farmers have balked at what they feel is a system designed to upend stability. Some contend that Tillable has been going behind their backs to poach the land they farm.
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