A January article in The Land Report indicated Bill and Melinda Gates were now America’s top farmland owners with over 242,000 acres spanning 19 states, including Michigan. Their primary investment firm is Cascade Investment, LLC.
Corporate investment in farmland isn’t a new concept and you needn’t travel far to see it. In 2013, The Michigan Farm News reported on an Indiana-based company, Ceres Farms, LLC, that purchased 2,290.4 acres of Stamp Farms land in southwestern Michigan for nearly $17 million at auction.
Ceres argues farmland is an attractive long-term investment offering current income, capital appreciation, an inflation hedge and favorable diversification negatively correlated with traditional asset classes. Since the end of World War II, the value of American farmland has risen steadily every year except for 1983 and 1985-87.