Challenges

Green Spring Farms was going through a period of transition. A short time after the acquisition by Farmland LP, the long-time controller of Green Spring/Olsen Ag passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Green Spring Farms had retained all of their staff from prior to the acquisition, but they now had an immediate need to fill at the controller position. Morrison was contacted by one of the partners of Farmland LP, and we quickly started putting a plan together to meet Green Spring’s needs both short-term and long-term.

Solutions

A consultant from Morrison planned a weeklong trip to Oregon to meet with personnel from both Farmland LP and Green Spring Farms. During that week, Morrison gained familiarity with Green Spring’s accounting staff and accounting software, reviewed the previous controller’s procedures and workpapers, and had Green Spring’s IT service providers establish a remote desktop connection so that we could continue to access their server and accounting software from our office in Chico.After the trip to Oregon, we continued to serve as the interim controller of Green Spring Farms. Our regular duties included supervising Green Spring’s accounting staff with regular check-in calls, maintaining reconciliation schedules for Balance Sheet accounts, recording month-end closing entries, creating and maintaining crop costing spreadsheets, and preparing internal financial reports and calculating financial ratios for Farmland LP’s Board. At the end of the fiscal year, we prepared audit schedules and provided audit support during Green Spring and Farmland’s year-end audit.While we met Green Spring’s short-term needs, our People Solutions team conducted the search for a permanent replacement at the controller position. Once a replacement was found, we assisted with his transition by assisting with monthly journal entries and reconciliations until the new controller was fully acclimated.

Successes

In the short-term, we kept the financial wheels in motion for Green Spring Farms, including getting them through their year-end audit. More importantly, we found a long-term solution for Green Spring Farms. The controller that we placed for them now serves as their President and Chief Financial Officer and serves on the Executive Committee for Farmland LP.

About the client

Green Spring Farms is a diversified crop, livestock, and farm management company that is headquartered in Monmouth, Oregon, but maintains farming operations both in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the Central Valley of California. Green Spring Farms is certified by Oregon Tilth (a leading certifier of organic agriculture and products) and offers custom livestock management for both cattle and sheep, with past experience caring for organic dairy and beef cattle. On their Oregon farm land, Green Spring Farms grows a variety of permanent crops including wine grapes, blueberries, hazelnuts, and a wide range of both conventional and organic row crops. In addition, Green Spring Farms grows seed for a variety of grains, grasses, clover, and cover crops and manages four seed mills where they clean, bag and ship seed. In the summer of 2015, Green Spring Farms (formerly known as Olsen Agricultural Enterprises) was acquired by Farmland LP, a farmland investment company that strives to add value to farmland by converting conventional land to organic and implementing sustainable farming practices.

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