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Farmland Auction Fetches $11.6M for 2 Shelters, IWU

McLean County farmland auction
Eric Stock
Auctioneer Don Meyer guides the bidding for 932 acres of farmland during a charity auction which drew a standing-room only gathering at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center.

Two Bloomington homeless shelters and Illinois Wesleyan University will share in an $11.6 million gift. It comes from the sale of prime farmland in McLean County.

The C.B. Frevert family trust sold more than 930 acres of prime farmland in the Stanford area on Tuesday at an auction that drew several hundred spectators at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Bloomington.

The Salvation Army of McLean Countywas one of the gift recipients. Development Director Angie Bubon said the agency isn’t sure yet how it will be able to use the money, but she added the gift could help fill funding gaps for its Safe Harbor shelter.

“The most strain budgetwise is our shelter because that’s a very expensive program to run and we’ve seen some funding cuts over the last couple of years for the shelter program,” Bubon said.

Home Sweet Home Ministrieswas another one of the benefactors. CEO Mary Ann Pullin said the shelter plans to put its share of the money toward an endowment to fund the ministry's operations long into the future.

“This gift really gives us the assurance that we will be able to continue to provide the needed services here in McLean County,” Pullin said.

Pullin added the ministry’s records show the Frevert family has been financially supporting Home Sweet Home for at least the last 30 years.

Illinois Wesleyan University President Eric Jensen noted C.B. Frevert graduated from the university in 1961 as a music education major.

“His incredible gift of more than $3.5 million will support student scholarships and equipment in the School of Music,” Jensen said. “The Frevert family diligently worked their world-class farmland for generations, and we are honored to be among the beneficiaries of C.B.’s legacy, which will live on at Illinois Wesleyan for generations to come.”

Eight of the 12 tracts of land sold for more than $13,000 per acre.

“Generally, farmers are willing to spend a little more for the quality and we knew the quality was with this,” auctioneer Don Meyer said. “We had a feeling it was going to be higher than the average, but we were certainly pleased with the turnout.”

The land is being sold to five buyers. Their names haven’t been disclosed.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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