On February 4th of this year, twelve Pacific rim nations signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP sets the rules on international trade. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the TPP will help increase American-made exports, grow our economy, and increase agricultural jobs across the nation. For Montana farmers, this agreement is expected to mean $86.9 million more in cash receipts and $56.6 million more in net exports per year. In terms of marketing opportunities alone, the American Farm Bureau Federation is predicting the TPP to add 425 more jobs to the Montana economy. With employment of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers across the country is expected to decline by two percent between 2014 and 2024, this boost can mean a good time to look for farm property in Montana.
The TPP will help eliminate trade barriers such as tariffs on Montana’s agricultural exports to the Pacific rim countries under the TPP. Doing so means there will be a greater range for trade and increased access to new markets for Montana’s farmers, creating new opportunities for growth in an already expansive industry.
Montana’s farm economy had $4.6 billion in cash receipts in 2014 alone. There were around 1.5 million head of cattle and over 2.6 million calves in the state in January of this year. The number of cattle in Montana exceeds the number of people. Although this may change as Montana’s population is anticipated to grow by 14.1% between 2013 and 2043. In 2015, there were 59.7 million acres of operated farmland in Montana.
Around 98% of U.S. farms are owned by individuals or family partnerships or corporations. According to the Center for Rural Affairs, across the U.S., vast number of these farmers are reaching retirement age. As many as 50% of current farmers are expected to retire in the next decade. More than half of the farms across the country are owned by farmers in this age bracket of pre-retirees. With the anticipated access to new and emerging markets that the TPP will provide to Montana farmers, now is a prime time to be looking for a Montana farm sale.
The Center for Rural Affairs suggests a few factors which may be keeping new farmers at bat:
- They struggle to find farm real estate through farm sales and farmland auction.
- The cost of farms for sale are too high.
- They falter beneath the high costs of production technologies.
- They start with small-scale productions that aren’t suited to the conventional systems and markets.
The good news for those interested in Montana farm properties is these don’t have to be the large barriers to entry they may seem. With the right guidance, you can purchase land through a farm sale and start capitalizing on the new markets and growth opportunities afforded by the TPP.
If you’ve been considering purchasing a farm or ranch estate, now is the time to check a farm sale in Montana. You don’t have to go it alone. At Hall and Hall, we’re here to help with everything from finding the right farm sale to financing and managing your operation. Whatever size or scale you hope to obtain, we can help you build your estate from farm sale to the daily operation. We can even help you build a ranching empire. Just ask CNN founder Ted Turner, who we’ve been lucky enough to help from his first, mold-breaking purchase in of the 100,00 acre Flying D Ranch in 1988 for over $20 million to his building one of the greatest ranching empires of all time.