Farm Management

Through farm management services, we provide agricultural landowners a profitable return on the land while maintaining its sustainability and value. Some owners have purchased farmland as an investment or for other reasons; others have inherited land and have special emotions associated with their family farm. Our clients normally own at least 160 acres, within a 100-mile radius of a Bell State Bank & Trust location.


  • Proper tenant selection and rent collection
  • Assessment of region’s fair market rental rates
  • Periodic visits to ensure proper farming techniques
  • Knowledge of required farm program paperwork
  • Real estate tax payments
  • Marketing and sale of land
  • Marketing of crops (crop-share only)

Choose Bell State Bank & Trust to manage your farm property, and you will be able to stay on top of the financial management of those valuable assets. We are experienced enough to understand the agricultural industry as well as your personal concerns, whether they have to do with your family farm or a larger ag-related business.

Read our latest AgViews newsletter for perspectives on regional agriculture.

We Help with Farm Management Lease Issues and More

In the challenging economic landscape of today’s farming operation, we offer services including on-site farm visits to help you:

  • Negotiate farm leases
  • Select tenants and collect rent
  • Plan farm succession

We can also provide management for other specialty assets such as sugar beet limited partnerships, mineral interests and other closely held businesses

Contact Bell State Bank & Trust farm management professional Dick Brudvik at 701-451-3070.

It’s Time to Reassess the Value of Your Farmland Asset

By Dick Brudvik, Senior Vice President/Senior Trust Officer, Bell State Bank & Trust

Many of us born and raised on a farm, or who have inherited farmland in our region, tend not to pay much attention to that asset in comparison to our marketable investments, such as stocks and bonds. When attention turned to the stock market, many of us tended to forget that the agricultural sector in our region has still been booming. Increased grain prices overall have meant that the amount of revenue being generated in the farm economy is staggering.

After several years of double-digit and near-double-digit increases in land values, those values mostly plateaued or dropped slightly in 2009; however, they have still increased overall.

Even if the spectacular thousands-of-dollars-an-acre sales are done, the overall increase in farm values should mean more than just good “coffee shop talk” for the average person. For someone who owns farmland and is renting this asset out to a tenant, the simple summary is that our farm economy has changed, drastically! Now is the time to reassess what the fair market value of your farmland asset is, as well as what the fair market rental rate should be. This is probably one of the more frequently asked questions I receive: “What should the rent be on my land?”

Fair market value, by definition, is the price that an interested, but not desperate, buyer (renter) would pay for something (land or rent) from an interested, but not desperate, seller (landowner).  However, fair market value means many different things to different people. In the agricultural sector, we may have different circumstances that cause the land value or rental rate to become non-fair market value. These circumstances may include emotional attachment (to the land as well as the current tenant), financial situation or life-changing experience, such as a death or divorce. The one circumstance that many of our clients experience is emotional attachment. They truly care about their land and at the same time, they also care whether the tenant can make a reasonable living from the land. Sometimes, these emotional attachments can get in the way of objective reasoning and long-term goals for individuals.

Our goal at Bell State Bank & Trust is to manage your farmland in a manner that is objective, but consistent with your desires for the land and your future or that of future generations. Realizing top dollar rent on your land may be the goal, while for others that is not even a top-ten priority. Maybe soil stewardship and asset preservation is your aim. No matter what your goal, we can help you with objective guidance and a sincere commitment to handle your farmland asset with great care.

We Can Help Negotiate Rents

An important piece of advice for anyone who owns farmland and has not wanted to deal with the discussion of rental rate with their tenant: Please let us help you! If your current rental agreement is several years old and you have been operating on a year-to-year basis, you probably need assistance with negotiating a new farm lease. Bell State Bank & Trust can help you by providing that service.

Whether your land is part of a trust or whether you would simply prefer farm management services through an agency account, we will sit down with you and learn your desires for this very important asset. When your land is managed by Bell State Bank & Trust, you will have the peace of mind that an Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) will be handling your land.

By using Bell State Bank & Trust farm management services, you will obtain the benefits of having an objective, third-party review as to what fair market value is for your land, as well as what fair market rent should be. Let us take the worry out of managing your farmland, so that you can enjoy the rewards and benefits of ownership without any stress that often accompanies farm real estate management.

For more information, read our brief guide to Transition Planning for Your Family Business.

Contact us to get the conversation started.



Dick Brudvik
Senior Vice President/Senior Trust Officer



Learn more about Dick.


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