Paul Pittman, executive chairman, president and CEO of Farmland Partners Inc. (NYSE: FPI), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
Farmland Partners, which invests in primary row crop farmland throughout North America, became a stock exchange-listed REIT in 2014. At the time of its initial public offering, its portfolio contained 7,300 acres. That has grown to more than 70,000 acres today.
“We believe that this asset class has very little institutional ownership so far, and by consolidating these assets, we can create value for our shareholders,” Pittman said.
Pittman discussed whether that aggressive growth trajectory can continue.
“There’s around $30 billion of farmland transactions in the United States every year, so there’s no theoretical limit on our ability to grow. We would anticipate having the same, or even higher, total growth during the coming year,” he said.
In terms of the drivers of farmland value, Pittman said global food demand is the key factor. The global food demand story is “decades long,” he said, and will continue to push land values higher for years to come.