AG Farm Management is now Peoples Company Illinois

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Peoples Company, a recognized leader in integrated land management, brokerage, appraisal, and energy solutions with offices across the nation, today announced it has acquired The Atkins Group’s Farmland Management portfolio. In doing so, Peoples Company will begin managing The Atkins Group’s farmland holdings of 14,000 acres and will open an office in Urbana, Illinois, after years of sustained business growth in the Land of Lincoln. The office will be led by local, experienced land managers Jim Goss and Sophia Hortin.

“The Champaign-Urbana area has some of the richest farmland in the country, and anyone in agriculture in Illinois knows the Atkins family and has deep respect for The Atkins Group. We’re thrilled to have the privilege to begin managing their expansive farmland portfolio and continue our growth in Illinois,” said Peoples Company President Steve Bruere. “Having Jim and Sophia open our Champaign-Urbana office was an easy choice. They are perfect fits to continue growing our Illinois operation because of their deep knowledge of the state, focus on implementing strategies that both protect the land while maximizing productivity, ability to effectively bring land to market and experience building large land holdings on behalf of clients. Further, opening an office in the Champaign-Urbana area makes perfect sense as the University of Illinois offers an excellent research and talent pipeline.”

Jim Goss began his land management career at First of America Bank in Kankakee, Illinois. Over the following twelve years, he managed property for the bank trust company and several families. In 1999, Jim left National City Ag Services to start AG Farm Management with Clinton Atkins. Atkins was a large client with holdings in Champaign, Piatt and Douglas County Illinois. Jim helped grow the farm portfolio for the Atkins family to nearly 14,000 acres. In addition, Jim continued to grow an agency book of business with families he had worked with in previous years. His management knowledge includes farm leasing, rental analysis, annual farm financial management/execution, farm plan creation/execution, USDA farm programs, farm loan analysis and landowner reports. He is very knowledgeable in crop production, particularly with corn, soybeans, and wheat. Jim also has a background in beef and swine production. A photo of Jim can be found here.

Sophia Hortin is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Sophia began her land management career as an intern for Clearview Farm, a regenerative and agriculture education project developed by the Atkins Group. Sophia has management experience in specialty crops, corn, soybeans, and wheat. Sophia also has marketing experience, bringing beneficial skills for achieving clients’ objectives for land sales and farmland management initiatives. A photo of Sophia can be found here.

“Peoples Company has become known in Illinois for bringing an unparalleled approach to farmland management and brokerage through intensive and comprehensive programs, industry-leading marketing and technology, emerging energy rights management division, and a robust network of agricultural professionals positioned across the country. We are excited to continue building on that foundation and further expand in Illinois,” said Jim Goss.

About Peoples Company

Peoples Company is a full-service farmland transaction and management firm serving all agricultural regions in the U.S., offering land brokerage and auction services, land and energy management, agricultural appraisal, and access to capital markets. More information can be found at

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