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Announcements

Leading Harvest Audit Report

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We are pleased to announce that we remain in conformance with Leading Harvest’s Farmland Management Standard. The nonprofit organization’s Standard is a third-party audited certification that serves to provide assurance for the sustainability of farmland management. It shows our dedication to leaving each of our properties better than we found them for the benefit of future generations.

This is our second year of certification to the Standard, which requires serious dedication from our staff, tenants, and operators. Averum completed an independent audit this summer to ensure conformance, and their summary report can be found here.

To learn more about Leading Harvest, please visit www.leadingharvest.org.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel – What Airlines’ Carbon Neutrality Pledge Could Mean for Farmland?

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Given major US airlines’ recent pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 20501, we believe sustainable aviation fuel is a potential tailwind for US farmland investors. The fuel allows airlines to reduce emissions by offering a cleaner-burning fuel option than conventional jet fuel. Importantly, there are minimal switching costs for airlines to adopt this cleaner fuel option – airplane engines require no retrofitting and can run on a blend of the fuel today.

Download or keep reading below to learn more:

Leading Harvest Certification

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Leading Harvest Certification

We are pleased to announce that we received our official certification to Leading Harvest’s Farmland Management Standard. The nonprofit organization’s Standard is a third-party audited certification that serves to provide assurance for the sustainability of farmland management. It shows our dedication to leaving each of our properties better than we found them for the benefit of future generations.

Farmland investing is more than a job to us – it’s our passion. We are proud of this achievement that was started at the beginning of 2021. It required serious dedication from our staff, tenants, and operators. We look forward to a continued partnership with Leading Harvest for the benefit of all our stakeholders. Averum completed an independent audit to ensure conformance to the Standard, and their summary report can be found here.

We recently participated in a NCREIF webinar about farmland sustainability and stewardship with Kenny Fahey of Leading Harvest. A replay of the discussion hosted by NCREIF can be found here.

We are grateful for your support.

Year-End Message

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2021 was an eventful year for US Agriculture. We are especially thankful for our team of talented individuals, the clients we serve, and the exceptional tenants and farm management teams we have in place. This year, we furthered our efforts in sustainability, purchased quality assets from across the US, and added three new members to our team.

While the list below is not exhaustive, we want to share some highlights from the year. In 2021, we:

  • Enrolled all our acres in the Leading Harvest Standard, a third-party audited certification that provides assurance for the sustainability of farmland management. Our announcement and more information can be found here.
  • Added a new client investing in farmland that is being managed to build upon the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and we released our vision for sustainability here.
  • Hired three new team members, bringing our staff total to twelve. Visit our team page to learn more about Colton Schlemme, Dirk Schuil, and Drew Bridges
  • Evaluated over $1 billion in potential farmland acquisitions and now manage farmland in 14 states across the US.
  • Discussed farmland as an inflation hedge with investors and released a paper on farmland’s inflation sensitivity, which can be found here.
  • Volunteered at the Midwest Food Bank of Indianapolis to help the community and raise awareness about food insecurity. We made a donation in honor of US Agriculture’s success and to further the Midwest Food Bank’s impactful efforts.

While 2021 was not without its challenges, we are encouraged by the efforts of our team to secure quality farmland and tenants on behalf of our valued clients.

May your table be full this holiday season, and may you find time to reflect and recharge heading into 2022.

Announcement: US Agriculture, LLC Advances Sustainability Efforts with Global Partner

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Kempen Capital Management (“Kempen”), a leading asset manager headquartered in the Netherlands, announced the launch of a global sustainable farmland strategy earlier this year. The strategy primarily invests in land that produces annual and permanent crops and will be diversified across OECD countries. In addition to seeking attractive returns, the global farmland strategy was developed to deliver improvement across five of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and life on land. US Agriculture, an investment firm focused on acquiring and managing quality farmland assets, has partnered with Kempen to help execute the strategy in the United States.

Given US Agriculture’s deep experience in farmland, the firm has a network of farmers with strong convictions about sustainable farming practices and a desire to grow their operations. US Agriculture creates a sustainability plan for each portfolio property that includes meaningful impact goals measured and reported annually. At the beginning of 2021, US Agriculture also enrolled all its acres in the Leading Harvest Standard, a third-party audited certification providing assurance that sustainable farming practices across many environmental, social, and governance issues are being applied.

The partnership with Kempen allows US Agriculture to accelerate its commitment to promoting more sustainable outcomes and ensuring resources are preserved for future generations.

“The Kempen team shares our passion for agriculture and understands the multitude of challenges US farmers face producing and supplying the worlds food, fiber, and fuel. We are one part of Kempen’s global management team and thrilled to collaborate with other sustainable-minded farmland managers. Kempen’s long-term and global perspective, coupled with a commitment to invest in technologies and enhancements that will improve soil, water, air, and humanity in general, aligns well with US Agriculture’s purpose to improve our world through excellence and continuous improvement,” said David Martin, Managing Director of US Agriculture.

“Despite the distance and global pandemic, Kempen’s team has been very involved in understanding our plans to make individual properties better. We’re committed to working with farmers who know profitability and sustainable farming practices are not mutually exclusive. And that’s critical to improving the soil, water, and air on and around the properties we manage,” said Clint Leman, CFA, US Agriculture’s Director of Portfolio Management.

For more information, please visit www.us-agriculture.com or contact Evan Newton, CFA, at evan.newton@us-agriculture.com.

Announcement: Leading Harvest

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US Agriculture, an investment adviser focused on building stable and sustainable farmland portfolios, is pleased to announce the enrollment of all its farmland acres in the Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard. US Agriculture manages over 59,000 acres of permanent and row crop farmland across the United States. Leading Harvest is a newly formed nonprofit organization whose Standard is a third-party audited certification that serves to provide assurance for the sustainability of farmland management. It identifies sustainable farming practices across a number of environmental, social, and governance issues.

US Agriculture focuses on sustainability from two distinct lenses – that of a financial steward seeking stable and growing returns for its clients and that of an environmental steward seeking to preserve and improve the farmland it manages.

“Partnering with Leading Harvest is an important step and a natural evolution of our firm given the continued focus we place on sustainability,” David Martin, Managing Director of US Agriculture, said. “Our commitment to Leading Harvest further proves our unwavering support for responsible and sustainable farming practices ensuring our most important resources are preserved for future generations.”

The Leading Harvest Standard challenges participants to monitor and make continuous improvement in their farm management system based on 13 sustainable farming Principles, 13 Objectives, 33 Performance Measures and 71 Indicators. It includes measures to efficiently use water, agricultural chemicals and energy to grow crops for useful agricultural products; minimize waste; and conserve soils, water resources and biodiversity. It also takes into consideration the well-being of farmland tenants, employees, contract management company employees, contract farm labor and local communities.  Presently, over two million farmland acres are enrolled in the Leading Harvest Standard.

The Standard provides third party verification for operations and will guide continuous improvement through annual audits. KCoe Isom, a leading food & ag consulting firm, has been engaged to educate and guide US Agriculture’s efforts through the process.

For more information on Leading Harvest, please visit www.leadingharvest.org. For more information on US Agriculture, please visit www.us-agriculture.com.