Changing Lands, Changing Hands

Changing Lands, Changing Hands was a national conference on farm and ranch access, tenure, and transfer held in Denver, Colorado in June 2017. Over 80 speakers addressed topics in six tracks. And over 200 practitioners, farmers, service providers, policy makers, researchers, academics and advocates shared their knowledge, experiences, challenges and accomplishments across a broad range of topics and issues.

We tackled questions such as those raised by Neil Hamilton, Drake University Agricultural Law Center, in his opening plenary statement. Who owns the land? Who farms it? How is it farmed? And who benefits?

The conference collected successful and innovative program, practice and policy ideas on these topics. There’s a lot to do – and much we can do together – to advance our work on farm and ranch access, tenure and transfer nationally and regionally. 

Read the conference report, access the program book for session descriptions and presenter contact information, and check out the photo gallery:

Thank you to those who attended the conference and for your contributions. From your comments and evaluations, we received very positive feedback:

One of the best I’ve been to. Great combination of plenaries, presentations and discussions.

This is a direct result of the stellar lineup of presenters and the rich networking among such a diverse and knowledgeable group. We all learned a lot and came away energized for the work ahead.

The diversity of people who attended the conference was wonderful, and there was a good balance of NGOs, government agencies and individuals.

Continue to stay connected on social media and keep the conversation going at #LandChangingHands on Twitter. 

AMAZING! Left simultaneously exhausted and energized. Just the right length/mix of workshops.

Photo credit to Trav Williams at Broken Banjo Photography

Special thanks to:

The conference planning committee:

  • Kathryn Ruhf, Land Access Project Director, Land For Good
  • Adrian Card, Colorado State University Extension
  • Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust
  • Savi Horne, Land Loss Prevention Project
  • Reggie Knox, California Farm Link
  • Gary Matteson, Farm Credit Council (a Lead Conference Sponsor)
  • Dana Richey, USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Hilde Steffey, Farm Aid
  • Karen Stettler, Land Stewardship Project
  • Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Agrarian Trust

The Colorado host committee:

Support provided by the following sponsors:

Lead Sponsor


Additional support provided by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, #2015-70017-23900.

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