News Desk

Governors Announce Plan to Protect Lower Colorado River

A trio of governors announced a plan to protect the parched Lower Colorado River. Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo submitted their plan to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the Bureau of Reclamation on May 22. Their goal is to conserve 3 million acre-feet over the next three years. In return, they proposed that the federal government pay $1.2 billion to the municipalities, Native American tribes, and water districts for lower levels of water consumption. Lower Colorado River Basin Arizona, California, and Nevada are three of the seven Southwest states that

Arthur Blank Donates Record-Setting Conservation Easement

Arthur Blank is most widely known as the cofounder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons. However, he’s also a philanthropist whose Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has donated more than $1 billion since its inception in 1995, including more than $28 million in grants to community organizations in Montana. On April 19, 2023, Blank signed off on the largest conservation easement to date in Paradise Valley just north of Yellowstone National Park in Southwest Montana. Established in partnership with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT), this easement will permanently protect his 8,800-acre Paradise Valley Ranch by limiting

Farmland Partners Nets 24% Gain

Farmland Partners Inc. (FPI) announced the sale of 2,426 acres of farmland in Nebraska and South Carolina to the tenants currently renting the properties. The combined transactions totaled $16.2 million. Together, the two sales represented a gain of more than $3.1 million. According to Farmland Partners, this equated to approximately 24 percent over net book value. The transactions were announced on May 15. Farmland Partners The nation’s largest publicly traded farmland real estate investment trust (REIT), Farmland Partners purchases, leases, and manages high-quality farmland throughout North America. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2022, the company invested

Farmland Values Increase 10 Percent in Seventh District

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported a 10 percent increase in farmland values for the first quarter of 2023. The uptick marked the eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth. Current Farmland Values “Farmland values in the first quarter of 2023 moved up again, 10 percent from a year ago and 2 percent from a quarter ago, so maybe not quite as strong a performance as in the previous seven quarters, but certainly still a double-digit increase for the year-over-year value that shows there’s continued strength in farmland values,” said David Oppedahl, a policy advisor at Chicago Fed. Indiana

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Frey Farms CEO Sarah Frey Gets Candid

All it took was a moment for Sarah Frey’s life to change completely. In 1992, as a teen, she had an epiphany: rather than carrying through with her original plan to flee her family’s 80-acre Southern Illinois farm, she would instead save it. In an intimate, unfiltered keynote speech shared at the 2023

Demand for Organic Surges

US consumers’ demand for authentic, certified organic produce shows no sign of slowing. Recent data released from the USDA’s 2021 Certified Organic Survey shows continued, strong demand for organic produce and meat, plus other farm commodities, including nuts, herbs, Christmas trees, flowers, and maple syrup. The report offers a telling snapshot of US

2023 Farmland Forecast

There’s only one way to go when you’ve reached a peak — and that’s down. It’s an incontestable truth many US farmers may have to navigate in 2023, following last year’s record-high commodity returns. Still, in his 2023 Land Investment Expo breakout session — aptly titled “Agriculture Looking Forward” — Farm Credit Services

For Sale: Texas’s Tigner Ranch

Texas’s historic Tigner Ranch is on the market for just under $8.9 million ($13,517 per acre). Situated roughly 30 minutes from downtown Houston, the 657-acre property in Fort Bend County features a half-mile of Brazos River frontage plus a mix of mature timberland and open fields. The ranch includes an ag exemption and

USDA Cracks Down on Organic Fraud

New, stricter USDA guidelines released in mid-January aim to cut down on organic fraud and bolster consumer confidence in the certified organic food label. The updates close loopholes that formerly allowed certain nonorganic ingredients to enter the organic supply chain. They also enact more stringent farm-to-market supply chain tracing and require organic certification

Bill Gates Responds About His Farmland

On January 11 during an online forum at, Bill Gates took more than a dozen questions posed by curious Redditors on a variety of topics that ranged from becoming a grandfather to what brand of smartphone he uses. (A Samsung Fold 4.) Not surprisingly, one of the many Q&As concerned his extensive

Wanted: Texas Ranch Manager

The King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management (KRIRM) at Texas A&M-Kingsville is looking for a ranch operations manager to run the H.R. Smith Ranch in Atascosa County, Texas. The 7,800-acre working ranch was recently gifted to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation and is a self-sustaining entity that will carry 330 cows at full capacity.

Nature Conservancy Protects Shohola Watershed

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently purchased 1,071 acres in Eastern Pennsylvania for $4 million ($3,735 per acre). The forested acreage connects two tracts owned by the state — 11,400-acre State Game Land 180 to the south and 3,024-acre State Game Land 116 to the north — and was immediately transferred to the Pennsylvania

Farmland Security Act Becomes Law

On December 29, the Farmland Security Act of 2022 was signed into law as part of the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress. Cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin and Chuck Grassley, the bipartisan legislation requires the creation of an interactive public database whose focus is foreign ownership of US farmland. The Farmland Security

Farm Team

More than two dozen pro athletes — including Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, Blake Griffin of the Boston Celtics, Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Anders Lee of the New York Islanders — have teamed up to buy 104 acres of Northern Iowa farm ground. The $5 million acquisition was

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