The Carroll Farms Brazil operation began in 2002 with the purchase of our current headquarters in Bahia, Brazil. The farm is located 85 miles south of Luis Eduardo Magalhães, Bahia (LEM) on the main highway that connects Brasilia to LEM and LEM to Salvador. The farm, gin, and all of their operations are owned by the Carroll Family. John Carroll graduated from WIU in 2003 with an ag business major and an MBA in finance and moved with his newlywed wife, Kelly, to manage the operation. The farm began the first year with 4,400 acres of soybeans. The farm expanded by putting more acres of Carroll Farms land into production as well as adding share-cropped acres purchased by other US investors/farmers. Today the farm operation consists of about 20,500 acres of cropland suitable for cotton, corn and soybeans, as well as a cotton gin, and an office that does the accounting for the Carroll operation as well as other operations owned by US entities.
As the years go by, our knowledge and level of comfort of operating in a foreign country increases exponentially. Every US entity that we share-crop with has increased acreage since their initial purchase, and we attribute that fact to their comfort and profitability. While we and our other investors believe in US agriculture and continue to invest in it, having another option for asset allocation makes sense.
Like much of the corn-belt, central Illinois is a difficult place to expand acreage. Land is by no means "cheap" and even when capital is available most land is simply not for sale. Brazil has its challenges, but land availability is not one of them. Moving to Brazil simultaneously provided an opportunity for expansion and work for a growing family.
Our interest in Brazil was sparked by a Study Abroad trip put on by Western Illinois University in 2001. Many trips were made over the following 18 months until due diligence was completed and a farm was purchased in late 2002.
We are located in the town of Luis Eduardo Magalhães, Bahia. To find us on a map, first locate Brasilia in the center of country and then move about 300 miles northeast. The town of Luis Eduardo began in the late 1980s and now is home to around 100,000 people. The farm is located 85 miles south of town.
The weather is almost perfect every day of the year. In fact, the locals look at you funny when you mention that it's a nice day because today is exactly like yesterday and tomorrow. The average temperature for the year is 71 degrees with highs reaching into the mid 90s and lows in the 60s. We have a distinct wet and dry season. The wet season begins in late October and ends in late April with total rainfall of about 70 inches. It does not rain at all in the dry season.
We want to be known and recognized for our operational excellence, for our rational use of assets, for our competency in agribusiness, for our professionalism in our commercial relationships, and for punctuality in meeting our obligations.
We want to be a business that is agile, lean, and competitive that utilizes the latest in proven technologies.
We want to be a business that values and betters the lives of our employees on their merit, always producing in an economical, rational, and self-sustaining manner when compared with other local and international agricultural producers.