Chess Ag In the News

AgFunder News: ‘A Lot of People Overpromise and Underdeliver’

May 7, 2018 AgFunder News by Emma Cosgrove Farmland investor Shonda Warner has a rare position in the world of agtech. As managing partner at Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners and an occasional angel investor in tech startups, she plays the role of both investor and user, as Chess Ag is both landlord and farmer on much of its 50,000 acre portfolio. Warner grew up in rural Nebraska in a farming family and got her start in finance working as a trader for Cargill in Kansas City. In 2006 she returned to agriculture and started Chess Ag, one of the first agriculture investment funds in the country. Chess Ag manages now roughly $150 million in assets across the US making Warner what she herself calls “the ultimate user” of agtech solutions. We caught up with Warner to find out where frustrations with agtech startups start for farmers, and what low commodities prices mean for tech startups. What do you see as the main challenges for agtech adoption? We’ve spent our lives as farmers and have seen many advancements and failures. Young and well-meaning people come into the game and they believe fully they have the latest thing, and of course, some do and some don’t.  People from the outside don’t tend to give credit to all the people who came before them,  this is really frustrating for farmers. There are often reasons beyond technology as to why applications don’t work.  Perhaps more of a meeting of the minds would help in this area. There is a fantastic crop of new, young farmers coming along, but farming is extremely capital-intensive; it’s very difficult for... read more

CSPAN- Farmland Prices

Participants talked about rising prices on farmland and investment speculation that the rising prices had encouraged. The price of farmland in America had doubled over the past decade. Low interest rates and record high crop prices had further spurred interest in investment.

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Fortune – Betting the farm

As world population expands, the demand for arable land should soar. At least that’s what George Soros, Lord Rothschild, and other investors believe – Author: Brian O’Keefe

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