Customer service in farm management, land sales, and investments is how Cotton-Grave has built its reputation since our establishment in 1960.
Ben Abben was a well known and respected farm loan supervisor and farm manager for the Equitable of Iowa Life Insurance Co. for 27 years. In 1960, he formed his own farm management, real estate, and appraisal business. Mr. Abben remained active until his death in 1981.
In 1965, John Cotton joined the firm which was then named Abben-Cotton Farm Management and Realty. The company enjoyed rapid growth managing farm properties in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.
Gary Grave joined the firm on January 1, 1982. The company was named Cotton-Grave Farm Management and Realty when Gary became a partner in 1985.
Sharon Strough joined the firm in 2008 as the business manager.
John Cotton was raised on a farm near Lone Rock, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University, majoring in Farm Management.
He spent five years in Fort Dodge, Iowa as a farm manager and farm realtor with Farmers National Company of Omaha, Nebraska.
He is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and past president of the Iowa Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He is a licensed real estate broker in Iowa. He served as a bank director for 39 years.
In 1993, John was named Spencer's "Citizen of the Year" and is a past recipient of the Iowa State University Key Award. John is an active member and past president of Spencer Rotary Club.
John served 13 years on the Board of Regents of Luther College at Decorah, Iowa and was Chairman of the Board from 1994 to 1996.
He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Iowa Public Television Foundation and continues to serve on the Board.
John was a member and chairmanof the Board of Trustees of the Spencer Municipal Hospital and also served as Board Chairman of the Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation.
He was named by Iowa State University as the recipient of the 1998 Professional Agri-Business Award.
Gary Grave was raised on a farm near Little Rock, Iowa. He is a graduate of Iowa State University, majoring in Farm Operations. He spent six years in Pipestone, Minnesota, and four years in Spencer, Iowa, as a farm manager, appraiser, and farm realtor with Farmers National Company of Omaha, Nebraska. He joined with John Cotton in 1982.
Gary has served as past president of the Daybreakers Kiwanis and the Board of Directors of the Spencer Association of Business and Industry. He has also served as Chairman of the Clay County Extension Nominating Committee and served on the Consistory of the Hope
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Spencer Family YMCA where he served both as president and treasurer. He is a member and past president of the Spencer Y's
Gary is currently serving on the Advisory Board of Iowa Lakes Community College and servied as director of Community State Bank in Spencer.
Gary is a licensed real estate broker in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. He is a member of both the Iowa and Minnesota Chapters of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and has served on the Board of Directors of both the Iowa and Minnesota Chapters.
Mike is a native of northwest Iowa. His roots stem from a 6-generation family farming history in Burt Iowa, established in 1898. He remains an active participant in their family’s row crop production operation.
Mike spent over 15 years in agricultural pursuits in the retail cooperative setting and through a national ag consulting firm. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Buena Vista University and agronomy course work through Iowa State University and NWICC. His most significant education was course work with Land O Lakes Executive Agribusiness Program, a partnership with Purdue University’s College of Agriculture.
Locally, Mike serves on various boards including the Spencer YMCA, Spencer Youth Baseball/Softball Association, and the Haiti non-profit organization Love Takes Root. He previously served on the board of Elders at First English Lutheran Church and is an active parent through the Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School. He is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
Mike, his wife Katie, and their four children, Jack, Karson, Claire, and Brooklyn, reside on their family acreage outside of Spencer.
Sharon was raised on a dairy farm in central New York and moved to Iowa on a hog and cattle farm near New Market and later near Klemme, Iowa. She is a graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College with an Environmental Science degree and received her Bachelor's degree from Iowa State University with a double major in Animal Science and
Sharon worked at Spencer Livestock Sales for 20 years and has been with United Parcel Service for 22 years. She worked for Spencer Agronomy Services, Inc for several years before joining Cotton-Grave as business manager in 2008.
She served 11 years as secretary on the Board of Directors for the North West Iowa Youth Soccer Association. She is a member of the Spencer Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors for both the Spencer Rotary Club and Spencer PALS. Sharon is also active in her church and community projects.
Clients of Cotton-Grave Farm Management include local and absentee landowners, investors, trusts, estates,
Cotton-Grave selects the farm tenant. Preference is given to working with the existing tenant unless conditions dictate a change. We negotiate a crop share or cash rent lease, whichever is most beneficial for the owner.
Cotton-Grave sends a "Farm Management Plan Report" to clients each spring which gives the acreage layout and a summary of the crop inputs. We also send an "Annual Farm Management Report" to clients which represents our perspective of agricultural conditions throughout the year.
Cotton-Grave will monitor and report to the owner the farm and crop conditions throughout the year.
Cotton-Grave will handle all accounting, deposit receipts, and pay all bills, including real estate taxes and insurance. Financial reports are sent at midyear and in December. The year end financial sumary is a comprehensive, readable report that will serve as a basis for client's income tax preparation.
Cotton-Grave will take charge of marketing of the client's grain under the crop share leases and be responsible for administering the government farm programs.
Each year Cotton-Grave hosts a farm tenants meeting in which highly respected resource people give presentations on a variety of technology and business topics. We consider our farm tenants as equal partners in the success of the farm. We try at all times to be fair in our dealing with them and as a result, have developed a cordial and trusting business relationship with them. We feel this policy benefits owners.
Cotton-Grave has been a leader since 1960 in farm real estate sales in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.
We have a thorough understanding of the productivity of soils and the ability to project the production potential and rate of return from each farm. This gives us a unique ability to both effectively market a farm and analyze potential purchases
We have a number of investors and producers actively seeking the purchase of farmland and have had considerable experience in assisting sellers and buyers effect 1031 exchanges.
Lone Tree Township
Clay County, IA
Selling Price: Tract 1: $11,300 per acres; Tract 2: $12,000 per acre; Tract 3: $12,950 per acre; Tract 4: $10,950 per acre
Auction Date: June 12 - 10:00 AM
Auction Location: Community Center, Royal, IA
Clay County, IA
Selling Price: Tract 5: $16,000 per acre; Tract 6: $9,100, Tract 7: $4,500
Auction Date: June 12 - 2:00 PM
Auction Location: Clay County Regional Events Center, Spencer, IA
PO Box 462
517 N Grand Avenue
Spencer, IA 51301