Posted by David Hamilton on January 29th, 2010
For those relatively few of you who don’t subscribe to Pork Magazine, (the leading periodical of porcine agribusiness), I pass along an interesting article. It covers a study from Iowa State that compared Iowa farm acreage, as an investment, to the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index.
The study’s authors conclude that the wisdom of putting your money in stocks or topsoil depends on when you invest, and how long you hold. What I find most interesting is that it’s apparently pretty darned close. Close enough that the study’s not really conclusive, which makes the recent news about hedge funds buying farmland across the world sound slightly less nutty. Which makes me wonder: why there aren’t people from Edward Jones calling me at dinnertime to sell me acreage, just for a change of pace? And why is there an exchange in New York where guys bark at each other to buy and sell shares, but no equivalent in Des Moines or, for that matter, Charlottesville?
I mention this because folks who make their home here at Bundoran Farm own not just a home, but a slice of a large and productive farm, which is managed (professionally) in common. The idea, of course, is that the protected and managed agrarian landscape adds to the value and security of the owners’ home, with the ancillary benefit of protecting most of this arresting landscape and local-food capacity for the long term. Maybe it’s the other way ’round?