Scythe & Spade
Brett MacNeil was raised in the small farming communities of Southeastern Arizona. Having developed, at a young age, a strong affiliation towards and appreciation of agriculture, he left home after graduating from high school to attend the University of Arizona where a Bachelors degree in Agriculture was earned in 1990. Eager to pursue an agribusiness-related career and expand his experience and knowledge base, Brett moved to the Phoenix area and worked in various Agribusiness related fields including Banking, Real Estate, Marketing and Farm Management. Concurrently, he pursued a Masters degree in Agribusiness from Arizona State University. With a thirst for even more knowledge and personal commitment to bettering himself, Brett further pursued a Masters Degree in Business Administration through Keller Graduate School of Business earning an MBA in 1999. In 1998, Brett launched Scythe & Spade Company as a Professional Services Firm/Advisor to provide agricultural-related, business management services, including Asset Management, Transactional work, and Consulting. By 2012, Scythe & Spade had become the largest privately owned Agricultural Asset Management Company in the Western US, overseeing a portfolio that exceeded $1B. In 2014 Brett sold the book of business to his employees and went on sabbatical. He was ultimately recruited by Hancock Agricultural Investment Group as the Director of Acquisitions and Dispositions. In that role he hired, onboarded and deployed a Global Acquisitions Team , ramped up their recurring systems and processes and launched the development of proprietary Farmland Investment technology. Over the past several decades farmland has grown as an alternative asset class, attracting a broader base of institutional and private equity capital as well as public and private REIT structures and with them attracting new fund managers. When combined with commodity cycles, growing populations and increased demand for food, the last market cycle posted some healthy returns. However, the next cycle may not be quite as lucrative, especially in light of the increased competition, global geopolitics, depressed commodities and interest rate environment. With these dynamics in mind, following his sabbatical, Brett ultimately boomeranged back to Scythe & Spade and has spent the last 4 years rebuilding and refining the Company. As the industry has evolved, so to did the vision, mission and core values. Scythe & Spade is reinventing itself and setting up remote, regional offices with seasoned partners to serve the ag investing community, particularly those investors that remain committed to investing in farmland and who will continue to be a long term source of patient capital to help fund the growth, expansion/consolidation and generational transfers forthcoming. Both Brett's and the Company's dedication to the industry and its members is evident in the professional affiliations, accomplishments and activities they are involved with.