FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2005
Farms.com Purchases 2,000 acre farm in Port Dover, Ontario.
Company is providing unique exit strategies to farmers.
London, Ontario - For the second time in less than a year, Farms.com’s Financial division has purchased a large scale commercial farm in a way that provides for an effective exit strategy for the farmer, and the farm becomes a productive asset in the Farms.com business portfolio.
The Farms.com transaction with the Stadler Farm includes approximately 2,000 acres of land near Port Dover, Ontario and is a cash crop operation growing corn, identity preserved soybeans and winter wheat. Part of the landbase will be immediately used for a residential development with Toronto based developers that Farms.com is partnering with.
“Farms.com is experienced with most aspects of agricultural production” says Farms.com CEO Doug Maus. “Financial transactions involving farming operations such as the Stadler farm can be quite complex, they are large and sophisticated operations which create a large number of transitional issues that need to be considered. Since we are a leader in the agricultural information services and consulting, we feel we are in a unique position to meet the needs of the farmer, the agriculture sector, the community, and Farms.com itself”. Bernard Striker from Royal LePage, the listing agent on the property noted that that farm operation had been for sale for over 18 months. “Large scale operations such as this are very efficient and productive, but are harder to market. Through patience and hard work, we were able to complete this sale to Farms.com, this farm sale ranks in the top 10 largest agri real estate transactions in the province in 2005” said Striker.
In July 2004, Farms.com completed a similar transaction with the 2,500 acre Townline Farms operations near Belleville, Ontario. After the original farm owner passed away, his surviving family members were looking for an equitable way to manage the estate and divide the assets of the family farm business. Working with Farms.com allowed the family members to maximize the return on the family farm, by minimizing the tax implications to them and streamlining the transaction. Warren McFaul, one of the estate trustees comments that “the Farms.com team assisted us with industry connections and industry knowledge – they were a welcome addition to our team”.
According to Statistics Canada data over 35 % of all farmers are more than 55 years old. Furthermore, according to the US Department of Agriculture, over 25% of all farmers, and approximately 50% of all agricultural landlords, are age 65 or older. These facts highlight the coming challenges agriculture will face with respect to succession planning.
Farms.com Financial Ltd. was founded in 2004 to assist in various agricultural finance transactions, either from a consulting role or as a principal participant in the transaction. “With the current demographic makeup of our industry, we expect this succession and asset transfer issue to become an increasingly significant challenge for many operations to deal with” says Doug Maus.
Image of the Farms.com Port Dover Farms facilities – offices, storage buildings, shop and farm elevator.
Located on Lake Erie – east of the town of Port Dover.
Farms.com Ltd. (www.farms.com) provides innovative information products and services to the global agriculture and food industry. Farms.com can be accessed through their leading agriculture information portal, which has business services and resources for agribusiness, livestock and crop producers. Some of the Farms.com operations include AgCareers.com, the leading employment website for the agriculture and food industry. Another division, PigCHAMP, Inc. (www.pigchamp.com) is the leading swine industry software and knowledge management company. Farms.com Ltd. operates across North America with offices located in Ames, Iowa: Clinton, North Carolina; Fresno, California and London, Ontario.
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