Huge Pension Co. to Fund Farmland Research Center

Published on: 11:37AM Feb 12, 2013

Mike Walsten

The massive TIAA-CREF financial services company has pledged $5 million to establish a center for farmland research on the campus of the University of Illinois, according to a published report in the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette. The newly created center will conduct research on farmland prices, rental agreements, taxation and more. The projected annual budget for the TIAA-CREF Center for Farmland Research at UI will be $200,000 funded, initially, by income from the endowment pledged by TIAA-CREF.

This is welcome news. Faculty and staff at the University of Illinois have a long history of excellent research on farmland prices and rents. (In addition, they have worked closely with the state's farm manager/rural appraiser organization - the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers - ISPFMRA - in gathering and disseminating critical farmland values and rental information.) The same can be said for many of the land-grant universities across the Midwest, including Purdue University, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska and The Ohio State University to name a few.. This new dedicated effort will be welcome as we deal with the implications of $10,000-$15,000-an-acre cropland and $500 cash rents.

By the way, the ISPFMRA will hold its annual meeting this week in Champaign. Yours truly will be there because it features excellent content and outstanding networking opportunities with knowledgeable land professionals. The Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) held their annual meeting last week and it, too, was excellent with strong content and quality networking. These are excellent organizations if you are interested in learning more about farmland values and rental trends.

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