Last year’s market disruptions created crises and opportunities for farmers. Some farmers struggled to keep their businesses afloat, others had banner years, and some were forced to consider retirement. All farmers had to adapt quickly to new realities and demand. We continue to help more farmers find, secure, and transfer farmland across New England.
This summer farmers are coping with near record-breaking rain, and an ongoing pandemic, yet continue to nourish our communities,” shared Jim Hafner, LFG’s Executive Director. “Many are dealing with lost crops and flooded fields, along with reduced consumer demand for on-farm purchases compared to last summer. Amid these struggles, farmers continue to steward the land to build resilience and mitigate climate change.”
To reach farmers when and where they needed resources and guidance during the pandemic, we hosted a number of online workshops and webinars together with our partners. These resources are now available as a learning library on YouTube.
- Affording Farmland – covering a variety of land access methods and financial considerations
- Finding Your Farm – how to work with a landowner, land trust or municipality. including real estate site evaluation
- Conducting a Farmland Search – understand the process, strategies, and tools available including farm linking sites, soil analysis, affordability calculations, and methods for evaluating land and infrastructure
- Establishing a Good Farm Lease – key components that should be included in a lease, significance of good communication, as well as tools, resources and guides to help with crafting an agricultural lease
- Making Your Farm Available to a Successor – goals, considerations, and resources, as well as shared practical experiences
- Retirement Planning for Farmers – overview and considerations for farmers of all ages
- Farm Succession Planning series – Unsure who will take over your farm? Feel like your family needs to start talking, but you don’t know where to start?
- Communication Between Farm Seekers & Landowners – how to approach, communicate and negotiate with landowners, plus hear from farmland seekers about their experiences and some lessons that may help you
|Photo credit: Vital Communities
We all look forward to getting back in-person and seeing you out on our farms!
Earlier this month we hosted a farm tour and training in collaboration with NOFA-NH and Vital Communities, pictured here. Jonathan Hayden, owner-operator of Winter Street Farm (Claremont, NH) speaks to other farmers about no-till practices. This event also offered tips on farmland access strategies and tenure models. Read Winter Street Farm’s feature article in The Natural Farmer, Starting a Farm in a Pandemic: Reflections from Winter Street Farm.
This month also wraps up the three-year, regional Land Access Project, Phase 3 (LAP3) that expanded services to help more beginning farmers access farmland in each New England state. Many of these workshops and webinars were a direct result of this regional project.
Special thanks to our many LAP3 project collaborators, including the leadstate partners: Maine Farmland Trust, Vital Communities (NH), New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (MA), Intervale Center (VT), University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension, and the Young Farmer Network of Rhode Island and Southeastern MA. Stay tuned for a wrap-up report on the project later this fall.