Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Yesterday morning we attended a farm land auction. This was for the Crandall farm, southwest of Wheatland, Indiana. They were offering about 140 acres, and this location is adjacent to our Holscher and Burke farms. No doubt, we were interested. We have been working with our banker for about 3 weeks to line up the financing. In all that pre-auction exercise, we closely examined our cash flow to determine how much we could dedicate to the repayment commitment. We defined our number, and determined we would stick to it, no matter how high bidding might go.
We took a team of people to the auction. I was the designated ‘bidder’ for the event, but we also had John and Ashley there, along with Brandon… and Ross was on the phone to listen in. As we sat at the conference table in the lawyer’s office, we were joined by 3 other farmers who had also submitted a sealed bid in advance. This was similar to the last auction we attended in November of 2012. The attorney opened the envelopes with the 4 bids, and ours was the highest. But that did not last long! As the bids rose, we kept pace with the other bidders, but once we reached the number that we had pre-determined that was above what we could comfortably cash-flow, we stopped bidding. Needless to say, we were not the successful bidder that day. The auction soon drew to a close, as we rose to leave the room, we congratulated the farmer who did offer the highest bid. I shook his hand and said we would do our best to be a good neighbor to him as we work in adjoining fields in the future.
We left the attorney’s office a bit disappointed, but confident that we had made a prudent business decision. We told ourselves that this would not be the last opportunity to buy a piece of land to grow our farm! We have to keep the mindset that even though this one did not work out, in the future we will be better prepared for the next one…