Sarah Baskins is based at our Turlock, California office and is directly involved with managing and monitoring the day-to-day operation of our clients’ investment platforms. She grew up around agriculture and went on to study it in college at Cal-State, Stanislaus. She also holds an MBA from California State Baptist University.
I was born and raised in the Central Valley of California between the small farm towns of Hilmar and Turlock. I am the youngest of six children and an aunt to eight beautiful kids. Growing up I was very active in 4-H, the Future Farmers of America, sports, hunting and every outdoor activity in-between. My grandparents and family are ranchers so, growing up, I was surrounded by agriculture.
I received my Associates of Science in Agricultural Business from Merced Community College. I then earned a BS in Agricultural Studies, with a focus in Agricultural Economics, from California State University, Stanislaus. I then went back to school to get an MBA in General Management from California State Baptist University.
Interest in Agriculture
My passion for agriculture came naturally and seems to get stronger by the day. In addition to my family, upbringing, and career, I sit on boards and chair various agricultural-related organizations and committees throughout Merced and Stanislaus counties as well as for the State of California.
As an Operations Analyst for the Asset Management Team at AgIS Capital, my work is weighted heavily toward overseeing the day-to-day operations and management of our clients’ investment platforms. I currently handle five different crops across multiple investments and portfolios. One part of my job is maintaining harvest records, tracking harvest revenue and communicating with our ground-level farm managers, appraisers, and the various agricultural consultants we engage to provide specialized services. I like to say, in the simplest possible terms, my job entails double-checking that we have dotted all of our I’s and crossed all of our T’s before, during and after harvest. This data is then shared with Jeff Hillberg, our Vice President of Operations, so he, in turn, can report it to our Investment Team and ultimately our clients.
I enjoy every aspect of my work and every task involved with being an Operations Analyst. That said, the thing I enjoy most is that I get to work across a broad spectrum of commodities. The diversity of these assets and the markets in which we sell their crops is impressive and the learning never stops. I think this is one of the most interesting dimensions of my job. I am working in a sector I am passionate about, doing a job I really enjoy and learning new things every day. Not many individuals have that kind of opportunity so I am really grateful. People sometimes ask me why I pursued a career in agriculture and I often tell them: “I didn’t. Agriculture chose me.” I developed an interest in agriculture at a very young age because I was surrounded by it. Under the circumstances, pursuing a career in the sector was a “no-brainer.” However, the older I get, the more I realize my passion for agriculture comes from deep within. Agriculture touches every aspect of our lives – from the clothes we wear to the food we eat – so working in the sector and doing things that are productive and that add value is one way to contribute to the world. At least that’s how I look at it.
The Ethos of Agriculture
Hard work, determination, dedication, passion and drive have always defined what it means to work in agriculture – and I don’t see that changing. The capacity to adapt and evolve… to innovate… to overcome new challenges… those are the characteristics that come to mind when I think about this sector.
Working at AgIS Capital
One of the neat things about working at AgIS Capital is that we have people in this company with a very broad set of skills and experiences and, despite the fact that we are spread out all over the map, near our clients’ assets and in other regions where we have business and investment interests, we are extremely focused on working closely and collaboratively with each other. We engage with people and companies from all over the world and we pool our experience and expertise in pursuit of a common goal – helping our clients have success investing in agriculture. The team approach is very appealing to me – and I think it is a defining characteristic of our company culture.
I love spending time with family and friends, hunting, hiking, snow skiing, attending church and “AGvocating” with my county and state Farm Bureau, Young Farmers of America and Ranchers’ organizations.