The TIAA Center for Farmland Research conducts research, develops data sources related to farmland, hosts academic symposiums, and works to inform policy on issues related to farmland prices and the financial aspects of farm management. The Center is a specialized academic unit within the University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The Center also partners with and supports farmdoc, the University’s widely-read online research program on the agricultural sector.
TIAA-Nuveen and the University of Illinois share a long-term perspective and a commitment to agricultural research. Through collaborative efforts with the University on this venture, there will always be a source of independent, sophisticated research needed to drive long-term understanding of the sector, and to contribute to sustainable practices by institutional investors, businesses and farmers. Sustainable farming practices help ensure that farmers increase productivity to meet rising demand for food around the world, while maximizing land values over the long term.
“Farmers, educators and investors rely upon the University of Illinois for leading-edge agricultural research,” said Robert J. Hauser, former dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. “The TIAA Center for Farmland Research will help us create the tools needed to promote sustainable and innovative agriculture practices and maintain our status as the premier source for farmland research.”
The Center’s research mission complements TIAA-Nuveen’s long-term commitment to sustainable investment in agriculture. The organization is a founding member of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland, a group of international institutional investors that launched the principles in September 2011. These principles aim to improve sustainability, transparency, and accountability of investments in farmland. TIAA is also a signatory to the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment and a founding member of Leading Harvest, the emerging leader in defining sustainability standards and for developing practices that benefit both farmers and consumers in the agricultural production sector. TIAA-Nuveen owns a majority interest in Westchester, a global agricultural asset manager, headquartered in Champaign, Ill. Westchester manages more than 400 high-quality, diverse farmland assets across the United States, Australia, South America and Europe.