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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Farmer Joe

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By M.P. Cremer

It’s no secret I live for fall when I can spend every Saturday in front of a few TVs, eat some great food and spend time with my friends while watching college football. And I, along with many other young women who follow college football, obviously accumulate some “favorite,” good-looking and talented players who I follow to the National Football League. 

And I, along with many other young women who followed college football in 2019, love Joe Burrow, current quarterback for the Bengals and former quarterback of the 2019 National Collegiate Athletic Association National Champions, the Louisiana State University Tigers.

Naturally, when I saw headlines this past week involving Joe Burrow and agriculture, I was intrigued.

It’s recently come to light Joe Burrow and a handful of other professional athletes pooled their money to purchase a 104-acre farm in northern Iowa. The farm in question has traditionally produced corn and soybeans, something it will continue to do as the athletes plan to lease the land back to farmers. 

It’s been reported the group of athletes are looking for more properties to purchase and lease back for farming as well.

Now, I know what people are thinking, what’s with all these richy-rich, border-line celebrities purchasing farmland? Is this the same thing as Bill Gates purchasing farmland?

I’ll answer the latter first. This is not the same as Bill Gates’ purchase of farmland. Bill Gates wants to purchase land to push his agenda. He believes agriculture is responsible for global warming and intends to dedicate his newly purchased land to combat climate issues.

Burrow and his company of fellow athletes have not stated any sort of intention such as this. In fact, Joe Burrow himself is from Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University – a college which focuses heavily on agriculture.

A news outlet in Iowa called We Are Iowa quoted Patricof Company’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Patricof stating, “I think of it as a really smart recession hedge for people who are learning to invest for the long term. It provides significant downside protection and the opportunity to create a long-term investment strategy which fits the profile of somebody who’s young and can continue to make a lot of money and wants to be conservative with their investment strategy.”

The Patricof Company is an investment company which specializes in helping professional athletes find unique investment opportunities. From what I can tell, this specific investment was right up this company and the athletes’ alley.

This brings me to the answer of our other question – what’s with all these richy-rich, border-line celebrities purchasing farmland?

Hear me out. Maybe they think American agriculture is a good investment. And why wouldn’t it be?

Sure, there are down years in farming and ranching, but there are also up years. There’s a reason so many farms and ranches out there are multi-generation – enough is made to at least breakeven. 

And corn and soy-bean farming? I’d venture to say it’s a win-win in the fight against alternative proteins. I think this is an awesome investment, and I’m very pleased with the good public relations being generated around agriculture in the U.S. right now because of it. 

Putting my marketing and business driven opinion aside, on a personal note, this makes me proud of American agriculture. Here we have these millionaire athletes who could invest in just about anything they want, and they chose to invest in agriculture. 

They recognized the importance of American ag and said, “You know what? I don’t need to buy stock in Apple or Tesla, I want to buy a farm and trust agriculturists to get the job done,” and that makes my heart swell.

We, as food, fiber and fuel producers, should be excited about this. These athletes are trendsetters, and soon, I believe many others will catch on to this trend of agricultural appreciation. 

So, be proud of yourselves, agriculturists, you’ve built an industry that’s indispensable, irreplicable and impeccable.

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