One of the world's richest men will travel to the epicenter of the U.S. biofuels boom to deliver the 2014 Land Expo's keynote presentation, "Powering America's Energy and Economic Future: A Conversation with T. Boone Pickens." Pickens is the strategic and managerial force who founded Mesa Petroleum and built it into one of the largest independent natural gas and oil companies in the U.S. before his departure in 1996. Since then he founded BP Capital, a successful energy investment fund, and has embarked on a 5-year initiative known as the Pickens Plan, addressing the national security and economic risks associated with America's dependence on OPEC oil.
The Land Investment Expo, presented by Peoples Company real estate firm based in West Des Moines, Iowa, is a daylong event that annually attracts the brightest minds in land investing and farm real estate to central Iowa. Peoples Company President Steve Bruere tapped Pickens as this year's featured luncheon speaker to showcase the Oklahoma native's folksy, no-holds-barred approach to solving America's energy crisis and the lessons he's learned over the course of his outstanding professional life.
Pickens is a legendary oil and gas entrepreneur who is recognized as one of the nation's top energy experts
A longtime advocate for harnessing domestic alternatives and developing even greater new technologies, the man CNBC dubbed "The Oracle of Oil" for his uncanny knack of predicting oil price movements now is on a mission to enhance U.S. energy policies to lessen the nation's dependence on Middle Eastern oil.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
July marked the fifth anniversary of his Pickens Plan, with its cornerstone focus on expanding the use of America's natural gas in heavy-duty trucks and fleet vehicles in place of OPEC oil, diesel and gasoline. "In a nutshell, we've got the supply, the technology, and the infrastructure in place," Pickens posted July 16 on his video blog. "I can't wait to see what we accomplish over the next five years!"
Pickens' wide range of other business interests extends to land ownership, as well. A recent story in The Land Report magazine noted he was one of the first to recognize the investment potential in owning land in northern Texas. Pickens has profited from buying working livestock ranches, improving them with wildlife enhancement and reselling them. "What we're trying to do is change the traditional way that land has been treated," Pickens told the magazine. "It's going to be treated with respect."
Other speakers will cover topics such as where farmland values are likely headed, ag lending and financing issues, weather trends, ag policy and more
"T. Boone Pickens' investment approach acknowledges the link among energy demand, commodity prices and land values that form the core of our business," Bruere says. "Beyond ag production, he grasps the opportunities for wildlife habitat, recreational use, water, mineral rights (even pipeline easements) in land ownership.
"Boone was at the forefront of the current trend of oil and energy investors to buy agricultural properties," adds Bruere. "Now we're seeing other Forbes billionaires like brothers Farris and Dan Wilks plowing their oil wealth into ranch- and farmland. His expertise is a natural centerpiece for the upcoming Land Expo event."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Besides Pickens' thoughts on what's ahead for energy and the economy, the 2014 Land Investment Expo will extend the ongoing discussion on climbing farm values with inputs from a slate of experienced investors, lenders, climate specialists, policy experts and business leaders.
This year's Land Investment Expo offers a full day of programming featuring timely farmland investment topics
Featured speakers will include John Roach, an Iowa native who founded commodity brokerage Roach Ag Marketing, Boca Raton, Fla.; climatologist, author and global warming skeptic Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at Washington's Cato Institute; nationally acclaimed economist Elliot Eisenberg, formerly a senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington; Mark Dotzour, chief economist and director of research at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, College Station; Iowa entrepreneur Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Farms, Alden, Iowa; and Marcia Zarley Taylor, executive editor responsible for farm business coverage at DTN commodity news service, Omaha, Neb. Ag broadcaster and reporter Ken Root, former executive producer and anchor of the Agribusiness Report, will return as master of ceremonies.
Overall, the 2014 Land Expo will remain the cornerstone of Bruere's efforts to position Peoples Company as a leader in the U.S. land business. Each event since 2008 has been a sellout, and Bruere fully expects another capacity crowd of 600 bankers, farmers, real estate agents, investors and developers at his seventh annual Land Expo. "Peoples Company specializes in land brokerage, land auctions, land management, land development and crop insurance, and we want to be a resource to past, current and future clients by providing information without obligation," Bruere says. "Educational events like the Land Investment Expo represent Peoples Company's aggressive efforts to connect investors, farmers and owners with global opportunities." More information at the Expo's website or 855-800-LAND.