It was a packed house Monday at an auction for a 303-acre farm in LaPorte County, Ind. By the time 41 bidders were whittled down to four buyers, the farmland fetched a total of $2,554,000. The proceeds are headed to nearby Earlham Collage in Richmond, Ind.
“The proceeds of the auction will support the sciences at Earlham, and we’re delighted we could achieve a good result for them,” according to Steve Slonaker, who managed the auction for Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company.
According to the local Richmond newspaper, the gift is from Marty Hansen, a 1959 Earlham graduate, and her brother, Edward Sykes. Avis Stewart, vice president of institutional advancement and community relations, said in a news release that the siblings have been strong supporters of the college.
“We look forward to honoring their generosity by enhancing our capacity to provide transformative experiences for future generations of our students in the sciences,” he says.
The college has invested around $40 million in the sciences since 2012, including constructing the school’s Center for Science and Technology.
Slonaker says the auction exceeded Earlham’s expectations.
“The bidding for the cropland was especially noteworthy, with local operators dominating bidding, which resulted in a strong price per acre,” he says. “Demand remains good for quality land in quality locations, and we’re seeing farmers and investors alike who are looking beyond the current commodity prices.”
Slonaker adds that the current market for farmland is “more complex and nuance” than some people realize. Schrader is planning a State of the Farmer’s Economy event later in February to further address some of the factors currently at play.