Cygnus Sells Agriculture Portfolio to American Farm Bureau Federation

August 5, 2013

Six months after Cygnus Business Media put its agriculture-related portfolio up for sale, the American Farm Bureau Federation, a nonprofit that supports farmers and is based in Washington, D.C., bought it for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase included five trade shows: Minnesota Farmfest, Dakotafest, Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show, Northern Illinois Farm Show and the IDEAg-branded Interconnectivity Conference.

In addition to the events, the buy also encompassed FEED & GRAIN magazine and Case IH Farm Forum magazine, as well as associated digital content properties. The events and publications will operate as part of IDEAg Group.

“This acquisition is the union of very strong brands that are deeply-rooted in agriculture,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.

He added, “By joining the Farm Bureau family, these publications and events create additional opportunities for us to serve farmers, ranchers and the stakeholders looking to connect with them.”

Even with what Cygnus Business Media called “one of its most successful years in history,” the Ag Group wasn’t part of its overall strategy moving forward.

“We are pleased the Farm Bureau acquired the properties,” said Cygnus CEO John French. “The properties were highly profitable and have drawn significant interest for many years. It is a perfect fit.”

When the Ag portfolio was put on the market in February, French had said, “This group is a discrete business that can be sold without adversely affecting Cygnus’ core business model or existing affinity groups.”  

He added there were no plans to put the remainder of the company on the market.

The farm shows, which represent the entire producer-to-processor chain, offer a variety of forums, events, seminars and demonstrations, in addition to manufacturer exhibits.

The Minnesota Farmfest is billed as “one of the largest agricultural events in the world” and is on tap Aug. 6-8 in Redwood Falls, Minn.

The transaction was handled by Corporate Solutions and was finalized July 30. All Cygnus employees were retained by the Farm Bureau.

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