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Breakout Sessions

Session 1  •  Session 2  •  Session 3  •  Session 4  •  Session 5

 

Concurrent Workshop Sessions

Workshop Organization: Sessions are organized around 6 (six) themes. Conference attendees may select any workshop.

  • Seekers and Land Access (Track A)
  • Succession and Transfer (Track B)
  • Landowners (Track C)
  • Non-traditional Approaches (Track D)
  • Professional and Network Development (Track E)
  • Focus On… a variety of key topics of interest (Tracks F – G)

Workshop Structure: Sessions are structured as presentation or discussion. In a presentation workshop, presenters share information about their work or program, followed by Q&A. In a discussion workshop, the discussants share their perspectives and analysis of the topic to set the stage for peer-to-peer discussion.

NOTE: (i) indicates invited but not confirmed.

 



SESSION 1, June 13, 4:45pm

 

1A Title: Beginning Farmers’ and Ranchers’ and Other Seekers’ Land Access Needs

Track: Seekers and Land Access

Format: Discussion

Description: What are the characteristics and needs of beginning farmers and ranchers (stage of farming, region, etc.)? What do we need to know? We will discuss the implications for programs and policies to address their circumstances and challenges around land access.

Presenters/Discussants:

  • Mary Ahearn, USDA/Economic Research Service (retired)
  • Tim Biello, American Farmland Trust
  • Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition

Moderator: Karen Stettler, Land Stewardship Project

 

1B Title: Farmers without Successors

Track: Succession and Transfer

Format: Presentation

Description: Many farmers and ranchers do not have identified successors. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. We’ll examine research and programs focused on this audience. What do we know and how can we tailor assistance to their circumstances?

Presenters:

  • Cris Coffin, Land For Good
  • Maria Marshall, Purdue University
  • Jon Jaffe, Farm Credit East

Moderator: Kip Kolesinskas

 

1C Title: Non-Operator Landowners

Track: Landowners

Format: Discussion

Description: Non-operator landowners (NOLOs) play a crucial role in agricultural land tenure and management. This session will focus on their needs and challenges, along with the programs that serve them.

Discussants:

  • Chris Beyerhelm, USDA/FSA
  • Dan Bigelow, USDA/ERS
  • Peg Petrzelka, Utah State University

Moderator:  Kim Niewolny, VA Tech

 

1D Title: Planning for Land Access

Track: Non-Traditional Approaches

Format: Presentation

Description: Local and regional planners have increasingly engaged in agricultural land use and access. Presenters will share their methods and experiences. In addition, we’ll take a look at the role of local governments in making land available and assisting transfers.

Presenters:

  • Misti Arias, Sonoma County (CA)
  • Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust
  • Pete Westover, Conservation Works

Moderator: Reggie Knox, California Farm Link

 

1E Title: Attorneys in Access and Succession Assistance

Track: Professional and Network Development

Format: Discussion

Description: Discussant will focus on the roles and importance of attorneys’ work with seekers, landowners and retiring producers, including how to engage more attorneys, build skills and strengthen networks. Not just for lawyers!

Discussants:

  • Andrew Branan, attorney
  • Jerry Cosgrove, attorney
  • Joe Hawbaker, attorney

Moderator: Jim Hafner, Land For Good

 

1F Title: Urban Land Access

Track: Focus On…

Format: Presentation

Description: Focus on the special practical and policy challenges around land access in urban settings. Presenters will draw from research and recent projects.

Presenters:

  • Laura Bozzi, Southside Community Land Trust
  • Johanna Rosen, Equity Trust
  • Greg Rosenberg, Rosenberg & Associates

Moderator: Tess Brown-Lavoie, Land For Good

 

1G Title: Facilitating Good Transactions

Track: Focus on…

Format: Discussion

Description: Navigating the “soft issues”–communications, goals & values–can make or break land access or transfer transactions. This session will focus on building service provider skills to assist these transactions.

Discussants:

  • John Baker, Iowa State University Beginning Farmer Center
  • Dave Goeller, University of Nebraska
  • Kendra Johnson, California Farm Link

Moderator: Cara Cargill, Land For Good

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SESSION 2, June 14, 9:15am

 

2A Title: Access to Capital and Financing Land Access

Track: Seekers and Land Access

Format: Discussion

Description: Discussants will set a framework for the relationship between access to public and private capital and access to land, looking at the issues, options and policies around financing land acquisition.

Discussants:

  • Gary Matteson, Farm Credit
  • Reggie Knox, California Farm Link
  • Jim Radintz, USDA Farm Service Agency

Moderator: Scott Marlow, RAFI

 

2B Title: Tools, Methods and Innovations in Succession and Transfer Planning Assistance

Track: Succession and Transfer

Format: Presentation

Description: Snapshots and stories from the field of successful and innovative strategies to engage farmers and ranchers in succession planning.

Presenters:

  • Kristine Ranger, Ag Transition Partners
  • Teresa Opheim, Practical Farmers of Iowa
  • Jeff Tranel, Colorado State University
  • Julia Valliant, Indiana University

Moderator: Jerry Cosgrove, attorney

 

2C Title: Connecting Landowners and Farmers/Ranchers

Track: Landowners

Format: Discussion

Description: Everybody’s talking about “connecting” landowners and farmers. What does that mean? What works and what’s needed? A frank look at programs and obstacles.

Discussants:

  • Tim Biello, American Farmland Trust
  • Andrew Sorrell, Virginia Department of Agriculture
  • Jennifer Visitacion, Guidestone

Moderator:  Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition

 

2D Title: Shared Ownership, New Partners

Track: Non-traditional Approaches

Format: Presentation

Description: New and young farmers across the country seek new ways to access land, and drawn to cooperative, group options. This session will explore multi-farmer and farmer-non-farmer land ownership interests–their commonalities, unique challenges and emerging opportunities.

Presenters:

  • Ian McSweeney, Agrarian Trust
  • Seth Jansen, Poudre Valley Community Farms
  • Jim Oldham, Equity Trust
  • Mike Sands, Liberty Prairie Foundation

Moderator: Kim Niewolny, Virginia Tech

 

2E Title: Land Access and Transfer Curricula

Track: Professional and Network Development

Format: Presentation

Description: Presenters will share their review of land access curricula and farmer training around land tenure, and their experiences developing curricula. What works for what audiences? What’s missing?

Presenters:

  • Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust
  • Andrew Marshall, Land For Good
  • Karen Stettler, Land Stewardship Project

Moderator: Jennifer Hashley, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

 

2F Title: Addressing Systemic Prejudice

Track: Focus on…

Format: Discussion

Description: Focus on learning from the unique and shared challenges faced by socially disadvantaged groups dealing with land access. Discussants will set the stage for lessons learned and opportunities to overcome systemic prejudice to foster land access and secure tenure.

Discussants:

  • Monica Rainge, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
  • Janie Hipp, University of Arkansas
  • Maria Moreira, World Farmers

Moderator: Jim Hafner, Land For Good

 

2G Title: Land and Water Rights

Track: Focus on…

Format: Presentation

Description: In some US regions, water rights are integral to land tenure. What are the issues and implications around agricultural water use for land access and transfer?

Presenters: 

  • Aaron Clay, Attorney
  • Sarah Parmar, Colorado Open Lands

Moderator: Kathay Rennels, Colorado State University

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SESSION 3, June 14, 11:15am

 

3A Title: Role of Easements and Conservation

Track:  Seekers and Land Access

Format: Presentation

Description: Easements play an important role in land affordability, availability and agricultural practices. Presenters will share their best and emerging practices around ag easements with a focus on land access and transfer, including more broadly the intersection of tenure and conservation.

Presenters:

  • Suzan Erem, SILT
  • Kendra Johnson, California Farm Link
  • Jerry Cosgrove, attorney
  • Jillian Hishaw, F.A.R.M.S.

Moderator: Jennifer Dempsey, American Farmland Trust

 

3B Title: Transition Planning and Farm Programs

Track: Succession and Transfer

Format: Discussion

Description: The discussion will revolve around how transition planning does and could intersect with government and NGO programs and policy. Examples will be drawn from risk management, credit, conservation and mentoring programs.

Discussants:

  • Kindra Brandner, USDA/NRCS Colorado
  • Scott Marlow, RAFI
  • Matt Russell, Drake Ag Law Center
  • Scott Miller, Colorado FSA

Moderator: Cris Coffin, Land For Good

 

3C Title: Public Farm and Ranch Lands

Track: Landowners

Format: Presentation

Description: An investigation of farming and ranching agreements on federal, state, county and municipal properties. Presenters will share strategies, and explore ways to expand and improve the role of these land holders.

Presenters:

  • Adrian Card, Colorado State University, Boulder County Extension
  • Tracy Emrick, Countryside Conservancy
  • Kip Kolesinskas, Connecticut Department of Agriculture
  • Les Owen, Colorado Department of Agriculture

Moderator: Andrew Marshall, Land For Good

 

3D Title: Paths to Ownership

Track: Non-traditional Approaches

Format: Discussion

Description: Land ownership is the dream of most farmers. What are established and new strategies for farmers and ranchers to move toward land ownership? Examples include lease-to-own, land contracts, and gradual transfer of interests. What current and potential policies foster a path to ownership?

Discussants:

  • Gary Matteson, Farm Credit
  • Jim Radintz, USDA/Farm Service Agency
  • Liya Schwartzman, California Farm Link
  • Kathy Ruhf, Land For Good

Moderator: Bob Wagner, Land For Good

 

3E Title: International Perspectives on Farm and Ranch Transition

Track: Professional and Network Development

Format: Presentation

Description: Learn from two experts who have studied farm transfer and land tenure in other countries and cultures.  They will share their research and observations, with examples and application to the U.S.

Presenters:

  • John Baker, International Farm Transition Network and Iowa State University
  • Matt Lobley, Land Environment, Economics and Policy Institute, University of Exeter, UK

Moderator: Dave Goeller, University of Nebraska

 

3F Title: Heir Property, Partition Sales and Land Tenure

Track: Focus on…

Format: Presentation

Description: Heir property and partition sales present barriers to successful transfer of land to the next generations of African American and Native American farmers and ranchers. What are the program and policy opportunities to address this long-standing issue?

Presenters:

  • Monica Rainge, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
  • Cris Stainbrook, Indian Land Tenure Foundation
  • Savi Horne, Land Loss Prevention Project

Moderator: Cara Cargill, Land For Good

 

3G Title: Land Access for Military Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

Track: Focus on…

Format: Presentation

Description: This session will focus on the particular challenges faced by military Veterans accessing land for their farm or ranch operation.

Presenters:

  • Jim Craig, Colorado AgrAbility
  • Matt Mulder, Arcadia Foods
  • TBD

Moderator: Rachel Murray, Land For Good

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SESSION 4, June 14, 2:00pm

 

NOTE: Session 4 is in roundtable format. Roundtables are facilitated, two-hour peer-to-peer conversations. They provide an opportunity for a deeper dive into the topic, and for all attendees to actively share their expertise, insights and struggles.  

4A Title: To Own or Not to Own: Is that the Question?

Track: Seekers and Land Access

Format: Roundtable

Description: What are our goals and priorities for land access and tenure in the U.S.? What factors need to be considered? This roundtable will use the constructive tensions around land tenure toward a useful framework for our collective work.

Facilitators: Chris Beyerhelm, USDA Farm Service Agency; and Neil Hamilton, Drake University Agricultural Law Center

 

4B Title: Building Succession Advisor Teams

Track: Succession and Transfer

Format: Roundtable

Description: It takes a team to help farm and ranch families plan for succession. In this roundtable, practitioners will dig into how to build and improve succession planning advisor teams. Issues may include communications, confidentiality, and coordination challenges, along with strategies to recruit and train providers.

Facilitators: Teresa Opheim, Practical Farmers of Iowa; and Andrew Marshall, Land For Good

 

4C Title: Working with Non-operator Landowners

Track: Landowners

Format: Roundtable

Description: Few services exist for non-operator landowners. This roundtable will brainstorm best and emerging practices to engage, educate and support NOLOs, from making land their available to working with USDA programs.

Facilitators: Jim Hafner, Land For Good; and Matt Russell, Drake University Agricultural Land Center

 

4D Title: Incubators, Apprenticeships, Mentoring and Land Access

Track: Non-traditional Approaches

Format: Roundtable

Description: Creative thinking about how land-based farmer training and mentoring programs address land access for trainees. This roundtable will draw from participants’ experiences and tackle the synergies between farmer training and land transfer.

Facilitators: Jennifer Hashley, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (i); and Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, Quivira Coalition

 

4E Title: Farm Link Programs

Track: Professional and Network Development

Format: Roundtable

Description: What are linking programs? Do they work, and how do we know? A clinic on program design, challenges, metrics, sustainability and effectiveness for those in the linking trenches and those who hope to be

Facilitators: Andy Sorrell, VA Department of Agriculture; and David Haight, American Farmland Trust

 

4F Title: Research and Policy Agenda

Track: Focus on…

Format: Roundtable

Description: A deep dive for policy and research wonks and wannabes. This roundtable will explore policy options and strategies for the next Farm Bill, state-level policy opportunities and research priorities.

Facilitators: Cris Coffin, Land For Good, and Poppy Davis, SAGE

 

4G Title: New Agrarian Views on Land Tenure

Track: Focus on…

Format: Roundtable

Description: How can visions and models “outside the box” inform and inspire our collective efforts on equitable land access and transfer? This roundtable will combine creative thinking, cutting edge, real-world examples and analysis.

Facilitators: Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust; and Jean Willoughby, RAFI

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SESSION 5, June 15, 8:00am


5A Title: Leases and Leasing

Track: Seekers and Land Access

Format: Presentation

Description: Presenters will dive into perspectives on leasing—the types and suitability of leases, and their legal and policy dimensions. We’ll address roles and skills for TA providers to assist with good farm lease agreements.

Presenters:

  • Kathryn Ruhf, Land For Good
  • Neil Hamilton. Drake Ag Law Center
  • Liya Schwartzman, California Farm Link

Moderator: Adrian Card, Colorado State University Extension, Boulder County

 

5B Title: Technical Issues in Transfer Planning Assistance

Track: Succession and Transfer

Format: Discussion

Description: Discussion of the hurdles advisors face with their transition clients—such as entity formation, taxes, operating agreements, and financial viability. What are good practices and areas for improved techniques?

Discussants:

  • Andrew Branan, attorney
  • Dave Goeller, University of Nebraska
  • Savi Horne, Land Loss Prevention Project
  • Jon Jaffe, Farm Credit East

Moderator: Joe Hawbaker, attorney

 

5C Title: Women on the Land

Track: Landowners

Format: Presentation

Description: Exemplary and emerging programs for women who hold or seek access to agricultural land.

Presenters:

  • Wren Almitra, Women, Food and Agriculture Network
  • Debra Heleba, University of Vermont
  • Joy Kirkpatrick, University of Wisconsin
  • Madeline Schultz, Annie’s Project, Iowa State University

Moderator: Laura Bozzi, Southside Community Land Trust

 

5D Title: Farmland Investors

Track: Non-traditional Approaches

Format: Discussion

Description: Sharing research and examples of farmland investors, discussants will set the stage for dialogue, including concerns and opportunities related to farmland investment entities.

Discussants:

  • Tim Biello, Saratoga Draft Power Farm
  • Mike Ghia, Land For Good
  • Teresa Opheim, Iroquois Valley Farms
  • Benneth Phelps, Dirt Capial Partners

Moderator: Bob Wagner, Land For Good

 

5E Title: Land Trusts, Land Access and Land Protection

Track: Professional and Network Development

Format: Discussion

Description: What are the current and best strategies to engage and strengthen land trusts in agricultural land protection, access and transfer? This session will explore successful, emerging and potential land trust community roles, contributions and connections.

Discussants:

  • Nellie McAdam, Rogue Farm Corps
  • Jim Oldham, Equity Trust
  • Karen Burke, Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood
  • Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition

Moderator: Kendra Johnson, California Farm Link

 

5F Title: Land Tenure Advocates: Individualized Support, System-wide Impact

Track: Focus on…

Format: Discussion

Description: Farm advocates will share their case-based experiences and strategies bring a social justice lens to land tenure work within a food system reform framework.

Discussants:

  • Stephen Carpenter, Farmers Legal Action Group
  • Scott Marlow, RAFI
  • Shirley Sherrod, Southwest Georgia Project

Moderator: Alicia Harvey, Farm Aid

 

5G Title: Industry Perspectives on Land Tenure

Track: Focus on…

Format: Presentation

Description: Ag industry representatives will share their position and perspectives on land access and transfer issues faced by their constituency, and their thoughts on the political landscape to address agland tenure challenges.

Presenters:

  • Tom Driscoll, National Farmers Union
  • Sam Willet, American Corngrowers Association (i)
  • American Farm Bureau Federation TBD

Moderator: Gary Matteson, Farm Credit

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Special thanks to our conference sponsors. 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.