Pro-Athlete Group Buys 104 Acre Farm in Iowa; New Investment Strategy Realized
I don’t know if anyone noticed but Iowa farmland is being bought up by a group of professional athletes. It’s true. Just recently, a group of pro-athletes including Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and defensive end Sam Hubbard, Boston Celtics forward Blake Griffin and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman are (or have) spent $5 million plus buying U.S. farms, and their first purchase came in Iowa.
The buying group includes around two dozen players, which recently purchased a 104-acre northern Iowa farm which produces corn and soybeans. According to a report from Front Office Sports, the deal was put together by Patricof Co., a specialized private New York investment firm that sources investment opportunities for athletes while also incorporating institutional investors such as JPMorgan. The athletes plan to lease the land to farmers and get a single-digit annual return.
Other pro athletes in the farmland-buying group include New York Islander Anders Lee, the Dallas Mavericks' Kemba Walker, Milwaukee Bucs' Khris Middleton, and Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz.
As stated, the group plans to purchase four additional farms over the next few years, seeking a diverse set of agricultural assets. Reports say they have looked at watermelon farms in Oregon.
As for the Iowa farmland, according to a report from Yahoo!Sports, several new price records were established last year, driven by high prices for corn and soybeans. Iowa State University reports that the average value of Iowa farmland climbed 17%, from $9,750 to $11,400 an acre, based on their annual survey. Even taking a figure of 10k per acre this sports group could very well have spent well over a million dollars!
Iowa is of course the nation's largest producer of corn and the second-largest grower of soybeans. By the way, did you know that there is an additional Iowa connection to this story. Joe Burrow was actually born in Ames and lived there until the age of 4 while his father coached as an ISU Cyclone.