Raising Capital for Your Farm with AcreTrader

July 30, 2021

In addition to buying farmland directly, AcreTrader offers a new financing option for farmers who want to expand their acreage or develop existing property: the “sponsored farm offering.”

Popular in the commercial real estate market, the sponsor model is less common in farmland transactions. Sponsored offerings occur when a farming operator or team - the “sponsor” - spearheads a farm acquisition, development, or improvement project and uses the AcreTrader platform and investor network to raise and manage capital.

Typically, these sponsored offerings are in permanent crop developments like nut or fruit trees. Given the operational complexity of running an efficient permanent crop operation, we value the expertise our sponsors bring to these investments and do right by our investors to connect them to with thoroughly vetted and experienced partners.

Historically, farmers have relied on a patchwork of financing sources, including friends and family and commercial lenders. Nurturing the relationships necessary to secure such funding takes time and effort, valuable resources that could be more effectively spent in the field.

By partnering with AcreTrader, sponsors can list their development offering on our platform, raise capital from our deep network of accredited investors, and leave the intricacies and responsibilities of investor management to us for the lifetime of the investment, allowing them to do what they do best: farm.

Our past sponsored deals demonstrate our investors’ interest in a wide diversity of crops and geographies: almond orchards in California, apple and cherry orchards in Washington state, and pecan orchards in Georgia.

We are actively pursuing new permanent crop investment opportunities across the country in addition to funding repeat investments with our existing sponsors.

Raising Capital with Speed, Expertise, and Convenience

After our farm acquisitions team conducts diligence on the sponsor team and operation, we go live with the opportunity and offer it on our online platform.

To date, AcreTrader investors have funded 100% of sponsored offerings available. Past sponsors have noted the speed at which we are able to fund deals, the convenience of our investor management operations, and the ease of repeat investments on our platform.

Almond Blossoms

Mark and Joanna Crawford of Crawford Park Farming, along with agricultural consultant Jake Cutler, have experienced this firsthand. In 2019, the Crawfords were AcreTrader’s first sponsor partner, offering a 78-acre almond ranch acquisition in Tulare County, California.

They later partnered with AcreTrader investors to fund two almond ranch projects in Stockton, California, demonstrating the push to plant the north Central Valley, historically grape and alfalfa acreage, to almonds. Altogether, Crawford Park Farming has raised over $7 million dollars in investor capital on the AcreTrader platform for these three almond projects.

The rapidity of the deal for each of our three almond orchards set AcreTrader apart,” shares Joanna Crawford. “The team is approachable and responsive. They always take our calls and approach each opportunity with diligence and expertise as we arrange our deal structures.”

New Royal Bluff Apple Orchard aerial view

In addition to development opportunities, AcreTrader has partnered with farmers transitioning their existing acreage to organic operations.

Jim Jackson, owner of The New Royal Bluff Orchard in Washington state, has done multiple investment rounds totalling $10.4 million dollars for his organic apple and cherry developments.

Jim notes: “Until AcreTrader, I raised money primarily on my own through friends and family, which was time consuming. A process that had taken me six years alone took AcreTrader’s team one day. It was such a pleasure to raise capital this way.”

In addition to deal velocity, Jim remarks on the efficiency of the AcreTrader diligence process: “AcreTrader approached diligence for their investors in a very positive way. They weren’t overbearing, and got right to the point of what they needed to prepare their own materials. It was not burdensome, as these processes can often be.”

If you have ideas for new acquisitions and farm developments that you would like to explore with our Farm Team, call us at 479-335-5660 or email farmers@acretrader.com.

We can walk you through our sponsored deal process and past deal structures, and answer any questions about raising investor capital on our platform.

Megan Blankenship grew up in the rural Arkansas Ozarks in a family of small farmers. Before joining AcreTrader, she worked in advertising and communications for top-tier agriculture clients. She loves writing about land, farming, and the people who care about them.

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