American Farmer Profile: Corey Dickman

August 18, 2023
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This article is part of our American Farmer Profile series. AcreTrader partners with farm operators who cultivate profound expertise, are driven by a spirit of entrepreneurship, and love farming. Read the first article in this series about the people behind Strongwater Viticultural Investments here.

Every generation of farmers in the United States has to conduct their farm operations differently than those before them. As economic, environmental, and technological changes occur, farmers adapt. Dickman Farms, located in Oregon's Willamette Valley and covering approximately 3,200 operated acres, is a great example of the way American farming families adapt to these changes over time.

Corey Dickman is the principle manager of Dickman Farms, an Oregon Family Farm, operated with Corey’s parents, siblings, and extended family, as well as a dedicated crew of hired farmers. Each family member contributes to the processes that make the farm run, from property management to accounting to HR. The farm produces a variety of crops, including the grass seed this region is known for, along with broccoli, cauliflower, onions, green beans, wheat, and hazelnuts.

Originally a dairy farm established by his great-grandfather, Corey is the fourth generation of his family to operate this farm. Central to local, national, and global farming communities, Dickman Farms has nearly 100 years of local experience and wisdom that drive their business forward.

Four Generations of Growth

Farming techniques and technology have changed over the past four generations–but those aren't the only shifts that farmers have had to navigate. "[People used to think] if you put your head down and worked hard enough, you were going to be successful. We know that just working hard isn't enough," says Corey. Modern farming, when done well, requires farmers to take into account wise generational choices and new agricultural knowledge.

"Successful succession is key for family farms to continue on to future generations," says Corey, but that doesn't always happen. Not all farm owners have family to whom they can pass on their farms.

Generational transfer is becoming more and more rare in American farming. Less than 50 percent of the people operating farms in the U.S. have inherited that land from a relative, and the family members that do inherit farms may not know how to operate them. This may have happened because over time, younger generations have moved away from family farms to cities and more urban careers.

Improving Operations, One Day at a Time

For Dickman Farms, financial improvement is always a value proposition. Dickman farms focuses on technical and financial advances that will get them ahead while ensuring the quality of their crops.

For example, Dickman Farms adapted a brussel sprout picker used in the 1960s to help them pick their cauliflower and broccoli more efficiently. Crops like cauliflower and broccoli are usually picked by hand, with farm workers using machetes. "It's backbreaking work, and even with gloves it felt like your hand was being bit [by the frozen cauliflower leaves]," said Corey. It's this kind of reinvention that makes it possible for Dickman Farms to continually improve their operations.

Part of improving Dickman Farms' operations is continually looking for ways to eliminate unnecessary labor. It wasn't until 2022 that the farm used a yield monitor on grass seed–and with good results. After analyzing the data, Corey and his team chose to cut the grass green to decrease seed shatter. Using the yield monitor, they ensure the quality of the seed because they took their time collecting the data in the first place.

“It’s not always about being big, but trying to do the right thing and do it with purpose. And take care of the land while we are here to take care of it,” said Mike Dickman, Corey’s father.

Dickman Farms and AcreTrader Farmers who want to expand their farm operations have to continually innovate when it comes to financial growth. Dickman Farms is no different. In fact, when Corey Dickman's grandfather put capital into their family dairy, it was originally through a Future Farmers of America program.

The way Dickman Farms has adapted financially has changed over time. As the average size of a family farm has increased, so has the financial burden. Farmers are often running several million dollars in equipment and are constantly looking to lease or buy more acreage to maintain and scale their business.

By partnering with AcreTrader, Corey was able to fully fund a 521 acre expansion of his farm operation with the Willamette Valley River Farm in August 2022. Of that total acreage, 442 acres are irrigated which Corey will own, maintain, and, if necessary, replace. The capital raise that Dickman Farms completed with AcreTrader included $105,000 for the purchase of water pumps. These water pumps will equip the farm by expanding the current water irrigation infrastructure. Investors in this farm are expected to receive their first annual cash distribution in December 2023. You can view maps of the property as well as the soil, elevation and historical crop images at

Partnership with AcreTrader is only one of the ways Corey is financially expanding his farm. Corey is part of a national and global farming community, selling his crops through Seal the Seasons, a farmer's market frozen vegetable company. The Dickmans are also locally focused, selling their produce in their town's grocery store.

Dickman Farms is constantly looking for ways to improve the financial well-being of their farms and expand their operation. Corey Dickman sees his partnership with AcreTrader as one of many important steps to seeing Dickman Farms flourish into a fifth generation.

Final Thoughts

When expertise is passed down and farmers build on what their families have given them, they set us all up for success. Dickman Farms is one operation with whom AcreTrader has built a long-term, trusting relationship. This multi-generation family farm in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley exemplifies the spirit of U.S. agriculture and what makes a great farming partner to our company.

Want to keep up with the Dickman family farm? You can see the seasons change as the Dickman's plant, tend, and harvest their crops on the family's Instagram account.

The above content is not intended to be a comparison between products but is intended for general, educational, and informational purposes only. Any performance noted is historical and there is no guarantee any trends will continue. All investing involves risks, including the complete loss of principal. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in a declining market. It is important for each investor to review their investment objectives, risk tolerance, tax liability, and liquidity needs before investing. Investment vehicles have differences in fee structure, risk factors, and objectives. Investments are considered speculative, involve a high degree of risk, and therefore are not suitable for all investors. Private placements are illiquid investments and not intended for short-term investment.

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The Company is dependent upon its Manager and other key personnel identified in the confidential private placement memorandum (“Key Personnel”) for strategic business direction and farm and other real estate management expertise. In the event the services of any Key Personnel become unavailable for an extended period or lost for any reason, the Company’s operations may be negatively impacted by the loss of management, oversight and expertise provided by such Key Personnel. This could have a material adverse effect on the Company and its results of operations and, consequently, its ability to make distributions to members.

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