Oregon PERF commits $100m to Homestead Farmland Fund II

The $69bn pension fund’s commitment constitutes a quarter of the capital allocated to the $400m vehicle.

The Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund made a $100 million commitment to Homestead Capital’s Homestead Farmland Fund II, according to December meeting documents.

The fund follows the firm’s focus on the Mountain West, Pacific, Midwest, and Delta regions of the US, with 70 percent of investments dedicated to row crops, Homestead Capital co-founder and portfolio manager Gabe Santos previously told Agri Investor.

The firm closed the fund on $400 million in November, surpassing both its predecessor fund’s final close of $173 million and its own initial target of $350 million. Commitments from at least two dozen investors have included $50 million from the Maine Public Employees Retirement System and $100 million from the Washington State Investment Board.

“We are very pleased with the support we received from returning investors and the quality of new limited partners that we were able to attract to Fund II,” Santos in a statement after the final close. “Our investor base spans a broad range of partners including public pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies and funds of funds.”

The predecessor fund amassed a portfolio of farms located in 11 states producing 16 different crops, including rice, wheat, soybeans and citrus fruits, attracting investors including The Texas Teachers Retirement System, the University of Alabama, FLAG Capital Management and others.

The firm uses a wide variety of lease structures and a combination of capital improvements, improved farm management and operating strategies and efficient crop selection and rotation to enhance the value of its investments, according to its website.