here's a big industry in America with all the characteristics you want as a business buyer.

But we've never even mentioned it on Acquiring Minds, let alone had a guest who bought a business in it.

This industry has:

  • High fragmentation
  • Retirement-age owners
  • Tech stagnation (lots of opportunity to implement modern best practices)
  • Enduring demand

Well today's guest, Jack McCarthy, is building a big business buying these littler businesses.

And these little businesses are: farms.

Jack McCarthy & son among the crops
Jack McCarthy & son among the crops

Turns out, farming in America hasn't gone corporate, as I had assumed.

There are countless mom & pop operations growing crops like pistachios and almonds.

And Jack and his team at Gold Leaf Farming are assembling an enormous portfolio of them.

Since their first acquisition in 2017, Gold Leaf has acquired $350 million worth of (mostly) pistachio & almond farms, across 1,000 miles from Northern California down to Arizona.

Now, this isn't some financial play, or a roll-up looking to exit.

There is a very long-term mission at the core here.

It's actually hard to bucket what Jack & team are doing. It borrows from search, and holdcos, and private equity, and real estate, and zero-to-one entrepreneurship.

If I were being semantic, I might call Jack a "zero-to-one entrepreneur" more than an "acquisition entrepreneur".

But the parallels of his model and ours are so numerous (Jack is a listener of Acquiring Minds), it made sense to have him come on.

Regardless, the venture is fascinating, the numbers are big, and the vision generational.

Please enjoy this conversation with Jack McCarthy, co-founder of Gold Leaf Farming.