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Beginning farmers James and Noami are now equity owners in their farm

Beginning Farmers James and Noami shown in their high tunnel washing greens.

James and Noami of Dickey Hill pictured on their farm. Photo credit Blue Horse Photography

Farmers ask for our help every day. Beginning farmers need guidance to securely access land, and retiring farmers seek help in planning for succession.

James Gagne and Noami Brautigam of Dickey Hill Farm are two beginning farmers who reached out for help when they were presented with an opportunity to purchase farmland through a non-traditional land transfer process.

Like many unique transfer opportunities, this one offered many advantages but was also complicated and un-tested” shared Noami. “Land For Good was a valuable resource when we realized that we needed help unpacking the details of the proposed transfer process, as well as assessing the viability of the proposed transfer.”

In the early stages, we helped James and Noami understand traditional transfer models, such as owner-financing, FSA loans, land easements and co-housing. Additionally, we shared examples of other non-traditional land transfers so they had a strong knowledge base against which to analyze the transfer model proposed by the landowners. 

Land For Good’s expert support put our transfer in context, guided our conversations with landowners, and also gauged our expectations,” Noami explains. “They advised us about the importance of hiring a lawyer, met with the landowners separately, and offered to mediate any land transfer conversations.”

They entered into an equity-ownership model to become “cooperative owners” with current landowners, Eric and Alison Rector, who created a limited liability company (LLC) for the farm as a transition tool. James and Noami’s ownership in the farm continues to grow each month.

They are now focused on growing Dickey Hill Farm and their business, producing fresh, organic vegetables and grass-fed beef. They both feel proud of their accomplishments and excited for the future: 

We’re committed to maintaining and enhancing the health of the land while providing nutritious food to our community.”

Dickey Hill is one of the many farms that we work with every day; farms that are committed to sustaining and growing New England’s agricultural and food system far into the future.

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Farmers like James and Noami need your help too!

We can’t do this work without you. Do you share our belief that local, sustainable farms are the foundation of our communities and regional food systems? Show your support and donate today so that LFG can continue to be the help that these farmers and farmland owners need.

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