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Episode 37: Bringing Farmland Real Estate Data to the Midwest

FarmlandFinder Podcast

November 8, 2019

Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/startup-stories-dsm/id1362402185

In the beginning, Steven Brockshus was on a mission to create a way to make the world’s farmland information accessible. Steven, Founder and CEO of FarmlandFinder, talks with the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives Mike Colwell about the company’s growth and development.

Selling Grandma’s Farm

Steven explains how traditionally, the person who owned the farm is the same person who is working the farm. Today, the dynamics of the industry have altered to where the farm is given to the next generation in the family, but those family members no longer live and work on the farm. This has created a need for access to local people, resources and data. By recognizing the need for information such as the ability to search income-producing properties, find auction sites and results, as well as land sale records, Steven created FarmlandFinder.

Opportunity in a Local Market

Within limited markets, FarmlandFinder has brought in data to create a more level playing field for those who live in the area and those who live further away. It’s become the Trulia or Zillow of agricultural real estate. By providing coverage across the Midwest, Steven discusses how FarmlandFinder hopes to alleviate pain within the transaction process in the future.

Digital Tools + Data Management

Farmers and landowners can access data about the agricultural real estate market, including comparable land sales, while also generating reports on properties. Through data management tools, large ag lending institutions can input data into the FarmlandFinder platform and generate automated reports with just a few clicks. This has allowed FarmlandFinder to expand data collection from six to 12 states across the Midwest.

Entrepreneurship + Making a Difference

During one year of interning with Future Farmers of America, Steven formed valuable relationships with many high-worth individuals who had run businesses of their own. These contacts had a mindset of wanting to channel their values into a business to create the biggest influence/impact possible. Steven explains that this gave him an itch for entrepreneurship. Upon returning to Iowa State, he became involved with the Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative program, gained another internship and created a pathway to becoming more immersed with the startup world.

Listen to the entire podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/162832/1947796-steven-brockshus-farmlandfinder

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Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.