Do you have a farm manager? Or need a farm manager, or even know what a farm manager does?
I guess a farm manager is somewhat self-explanatory. He manages the farm. But, what does that mean. What is his day to day like? And does that mean he farms the land? Does he plant or harvest the grain?
This blog series is going to discuss what exactly a farm manager does. When is a good time to find a farm manager, and how to pick one?
In a brief interview with Jeff Post, MPI’s president and part owner we get an inside scoop on farm management.
As I sit down in his office, you can tell that he is a busy guy. His office is filled with pictures of those closest to him and farm publications that he has been reading. We get right down to business.
When and how did you get into farm management?
1997. My Father had a real estate and insurance firm in Lexington, Nebraska where I grew up. It was always a natural path for me, and when the time came for him to retire I bought the firm. We saw the need for farm management with our current customers, and we wanted to offer them the assistance. So, one customer at a time we helped make sure they were getting the best value out of their land. We enhanced their income and their comfort level with being an absent land owner.
What skills do you have that make you a good farm manager?
Both my parent’s family were in agricultural production as I grew up. In 1980 my Dad, Doran Post, made a career change and got into the insurance and real estate industry. I was groomed for years before I carried my own business. I got to see both sides of the job: production agriculture and farm real estate sales and ownership. Being knowledgeable and having experience in both sides of farm management has made me a great farm manager.
What do you do on a day to day basis?
Let’s see, every day I check the Chicago board of trade, watch the markets. I’m researching selling prices and times. I’m communicating with tenants and clients. Really, I just strive to make sure I do the best job every day for my clients and strive to continually get better. And at least once a week, I try to make it to the golf course.
What is stressful about your job?
Making sure we perform to our clients expectations. In marketing, stewardship for the land, communication to our tenants and land lords, and being fiscally responsible to our land owners.
What is your process when it comes to finding tenants?
We start with an interview process with all of our potential tenants. Picking a good tenant is key to our success. We don’t like to dictate what they do, we trust them, their experience and their ability to do the best job possible with being stewards of the land. Then we keep a very open communication line available with them. We have a very low turnover rate when it comes to tenants, and we make every effort to keep it that way.
What is your philosophy with your clients that are land owners?
We handle owner’s property as if it was our own. We strive to provide the greatest quality in assisting them with everything from the purchase of the ground to providing the most return on investment possible.
What does a farm investment look like?
Well, they generally have 4 sides and are made of dirt. No just kidding. We have an average 5% return profit based on their current market value of the ag investment.
Would you suggest people invest in farm land?
Investing in farm ground is a great long term investment for any and all walks of life. If you know nothing about farming we will take care of you and make sure you are informed and are able to make comfortable smart decisions. If you grew up on a farm and know the ins and outs of farming you have to remember that agriculture is changing every day and being on top of it is key to maintaining a successful investment.
What would you say to someone who was looking for a farm manager?
Interview as many agents as you see fit and choose the right fit for you and your future investment goals with your property. Make sure we are included in your interview process.
Any management stories you want to share?
Oh gosh, I guess my biggest accomplishment and best story has been moving to Omaha and buying MPI. Let me set the stage for you, I owned a business in Lexington and was engaged to my beautiful fiancé at the time. She lived in Omaha and I knew something was going to change. I was looking at options in Omaha and wasn’t exactly sure what to do. Then one day, I got a call setting up an interview for the head position at MPI because Jerry Zegers, who had run the company has passed away unexpectedly. After a few years I purchased the company with Roland Penner and we have expanded and been successful ever since.