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Land Access Project – Phase II

Access to land is one of the biggest challenges for beginning farmers in New England. This second phase of LFG’s Land Access Project (LAP2), brings together over 40 collaborating organizations, agencies and individual experts. LAP2 received renewal funding from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program for this three-year regional collaboration. The project takes a comprehensive, systems approach to improve programs and policies around land access and transfer in each New England state. Project teams and partners will work with established and transitioning farmers, landowners, conservation organizations, service providers, communities and policymakers. Together we will:

  • Develop & strengthen programs, services, policies
  • Build professional capacity & networks in each state, our region & nationally
  • Seek, investigate & promote innovative land access & transfer tools & methods

This project builds from LFG’s prior Land Access Project – Phase I (2010-2013). As with LAP1, our current project is structured around task forces and technical teams of service providers and other stakeholders. We’ll also support land access and transfer networking in each state.

  1. Listing & Linking Task Force will develop, improve and better synchronize farm link programs in New England, and reach out to seekers and farmland holders.
  2. Succession & Transfer Assistance Task Force will develop innovative curriculum, and provide advice and legal assistance to transitioning farm families through teams of service providers and attorneys. This task force will focus on farmers without identified successors and “mid-life” farmers.
  3. Tenure Innovations Task Force will continue to explore innovative access and transfer methods, such as paths to ownership, affordable farmer housing, farmland investment models, and conservation tools. It will propose best practices and supportive public policies.
  4. State programs, capacity and networks will be strengthened through educational events, services, and professional training.

With national partners, LAP2 will organize a national conference on land access, tenure and transfer to be held in 2017.

Strong partnerships are at the heart of this project. Organizations, agency and firms across and beyond the region committed matching funds totaling over $160,000. Together, collaborators will develop materials, workshops, services and policy recommendations. They will participate in trainings and work to assist beginning and other farmers, and to improve the conditions for successful and access and transfer in New England.

Thanks to these LAP partners and collaborators (listed by Task Force):

Listing & Linking

  • Ben Waterman, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Task Force Leader
  • Martha Bryan, Berkshire Agriculture Ventures
  • Jan Fields, New England Small Farm Institute
  • Noelle Fogg, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
  • Jennifer Hashley, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
  • Kip Kolesinskas, Consulting Conservationist
  • Sue Lanpher, Maine Farmland Trust
  • Jamie Pottern, Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust
  • Cameron Weimar, Connecticut Department of Agriculture

Succession & Transfer Assistance

  • Annette Higby, Task Force Leader
  • Gary Anderson, University of Maine Extension
  • Rebecca Brown, Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust
  • Stacy Burnstein, Intervale Center
  • Paul Dillon, Attorney at Law
  • Rupert Friday, Rhode Island Land Trust Council
  • Kate Kerman, Small & Beginner Farmers of NH
  • Amanda Littleton, Cheshire County Conservation District
  • Kathy Orlando, Sheffield Land Trust
  • Robert Russo, USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Carrie Scrufari, Vermont Law School
  • Lynn Spinella, Rhode Island Farm Bureau
  • Pete Westover, Massachusetts Association of Agricultural Commissions

 Tenure Innovations

  • Bob Wagner, American Farmland Trust, Task Force Leader
  • Charlene Anderson, NH Community Loan Fund
  • Lisa Bassani, American Farmland Trust
  • Laura Bozzi, Southside Community Land Trust
  • Billie Best, Schumacher Center for a New Economics
  • Tess Brown Lavoie, Young Farmer Network of Southeastern New England
  • Erica Buswell, Maine Farmland Trust
  • Richard E. Cavanaugh, Esq., Common Grow LLC
  • Nancy Everhart, VT Housing & Conservation Board
  • Noelle Fogg, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
  • Rupert Friday, Rhode Island Land Trust Council
  • Stacey Gambrel, Monadnock Conservancy
  • Daniel MacPhee, Maine Organic Farmer & Gardeners Association
  • Ian McSweeney, Russell Foundation
  • Jim Oldham, Equity Trust
  • Kathy Orlando, Sheffield Land Trust
  • Jon Ramsay, Vermont Land Trust
  • Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Carrie Scrufari, Vermont Law School
  • Michelle Sheehan, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
  • Christine St. Clair, Small & Beginner Farmers of NH
  • Henry Talmage, Connecticut Farm Bureau

Land For Good Project Staff

  • Kathy Ruhf, Project Director
  • Jim Habana Hafner, Executive Director
  • Andrew Marshall, Education & Field Director
  • Barb Jackson, Operations Manager
  • Lisa Luciani, Communications Coordinator
  • Jan Mackey, Business Manager
  • Jo Barrett, Maine Field Agent
  • Cara Cargill, New Hampshire Field Agent
  • Mike Ghia, Vermont Field Agent
  • Rachel Murray, Connecticut Field Agent

LAP2 is supported by a grant from the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (NIFA #2015-04544).