Supervisors: County land auction successful
A land auction Wednesday morning at the Jefferson County Courthouse aimed at selling more than 100 acres of county-owned land, concluded with a sale at $8,950 per acre.
“Given the state of the farm economy, it was reasonable; it’s an excellent piece of ground,” said Jefferson County Supervisor Dee Sandquist. “I thought it would be in a range of that area. I’m happy, and we’ll be able to use the money from the sale toward infrastructure.”
Around 100 people showed up for the sale of 108 acres of county-owned property on 250th Street that in January appraised for more than $800,000. The supervisors set the minimum price at $7,700 per acre, but during the auction, bidding started at $8,000.
Porter Family Farms snagged the land, with an $8,950 bid around 30 minutes after the start of the sale.
“We’re the neighbors, and we’re proud to own this Jefferson County farm,” the Porters said in a joint statement after the sale.
“I thought it was a good auction,” said supervisor Dick Reed. “It brought in a little more than I thought it would — I think the taxpayers of Jefferson County ought to be happy.”
Although supervisor Lee Dimmitt had hoped the land would go for a higher price, he said he was happy with the auction’s outcome.
“I’m greedy,” he chortled. “But I thought it went very well, and it’s going to stay in local hands, which is always a good thing. All in all, I think we did well.”
Rick Spees, of Rick Spees Auction Services orchestrated the auction, and promised bidders that he didn’t plan to drag the sale out.
“This farm is going to sell today,” he said.
By 10:10 a.m. bids crept up from $8,100 to $8,500.
Spees told the crowd that the land was in “farm-ready” condition.
“This is good, tillable land,” he said, calling it a legacy investment.
Auctioneer Matt McWhirter, reminded bidders that the land hadn’t changed hands for 150 years.
Spees agreed, and said it would likely remain in the new buyer’s hands for 150 more.
“I’ve gotten calls from Omaha to Minnesota,” Spees said. “Investors want all tillable, good soils, and it’s here today.”
By 10:25 a.m., bids had gone up to $8,950, where it sold minutes later.
“This one went fairly quickly,” Sandquist said of the auction. “I couldn’t tell how many bidders there were, I think because they weren’t as many bidders — but what matters is the outcome.”
The supervisors plan to use the nearly $1 million for county infrastructure including roads, bridges and other county improvements.