Top Menu

! COVID-19 Update: We are all concerned about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on farmers and farm businesses. Get free assistance, resources, and more here.

Preview the upcoming conference sessions and register while you still can!

The 6th Annual Farmland Access and Transfer Conference is less than a week away! Monday November 16th – Wednesday, November 18th from 1-5pm.

Hosted by Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good, we are happy to expand the opportunity for more people to attend by taking the conference online this year. Register now to get access to live interactive sessions via Zoom, pre-recorded webinars that you can watch on your own time, and many other valuable resources. Live sessions will also be recorded and available to those who register in advance. Registration is available on a sliding scale.

Curious to know more about each session? Find descriptions of each session below. We look forward to gathering with you virtually!


LIVE SESSIONS

Land Justice Plenary
11/16, 1-2:30PM

A panel of speakers will be facilitated by Alivia Moore of Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective, a collective of Indigenous people restoring the spiritual foundation of our livelihoods through regenerative food systems. Participants will join the conversation about how farmers can be integral parts of reorienting the framework of land tenure to include reparations and land justice.

Presenters: Kristen Wyman, Eastern Woodlands Rematriation; Mali Obomsawin and Desiree Vargas, Racial Equity and Justice. Facilitated by Alivia Moore, Co-Founder, Eastern Woodlands Rematriation.

Plenary Discussion Session
11/16, 3-4:30PM

Join us to discuss, process and ask questions that arose from the land justice plenary session.

Presenters: Kristen Wyman, Eastern Woodlands Rematriation; Mali Obomsawin and Desiree Vargas, Racial Equity and Justice. Facilitated by Alivia Moore, Co-Founder, Eastern Woodlands Rematriation.

Farm Transfer Stories and Lessons
11/17, 1-2:30PM

Over 90% of retirement-age farmers in New England farm without a young farm operator by their side. Many are looking to find their next successor in hopes of seeing their land remain in farming. And, most farm families that have a successor in mind can use help starting the conversation or taking steps on their plan. At this session several farmers who are working through a farm transition process will share their stories and lessons learned. Our panelists include a multi-generational farm succession, a farm transfer between unrelated parties and a cooperative model that creates a pathway for succession. The farmers as well as Land For Good staff will answer questions and help farmers get started on creating their own farm transition plan.

Presenters: William Nunnally, Nunnally Family Enterprises and Marginalized Agriculture of New England Society; Cynthia Thayer, Darthia Farm, ME; James Wheeler & Janet Woodward, Indian Head Farm, MA; Kathryn Ruhf, Senior Advisor, Land For Good (LFG). Facilitated by Shemariah Blum-Evitts, Program Director, LFG.

Communication between Farmland Seekers and Landowners
11/18, 1-2:30PM

Finding suitable, accessible land on which to grow food and medicine is an increasing challenge. No small part of this process is approaching, communicating and negotiating with landowners.

Somali Bantu Community Association farmers shown on their farm, this organization will participate on a panel as a live session

Photo credit Somali Bantu Community Association and Liberation Farms (ME)

Setting clear expectations and crafting a shared vision can be daunting!

In this session, hear from farmland seekers about their experiences, the challenges they’ve faced and some of the lessons that may help you as you consider how to make your land available or pursue your farming vision. This session will provide an opportunity for you to reflect on and share your aspirations and experiences.

Presenters: Sonia Acevedo, Hide and Go Peep Farm, ME; Heather Augustine, Wabanki Reach; Muhidin Libah, Executive Director and cofounder, Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine (SBCA); Lana Cannon Dracup, Farm Operations Manager and Educator, SBCA; and Ashley Bahlkow, Organizational Adviser and Land Acquisition Project Lead, SBCA. Facilitated by Abby Sadauckas, Maine Field Agent, LFG.

Affording Farmland
11/18, 3:30-5PM

Finding affordable farmland is often cited as one of the biggest barriers to farmland access. During the pandemic, the demand for rural land has surged, and farmland is often priced according to its development value for rural estates. This session will draw on the experience of farmers in Maine and Vermont to discuss innovative strategies and tools for affording farmland. A panel of farmers will share their personal stories of attaining and affording farmland, from financing options to legal structures for collective ownership to leasing as a pathway to ownership.

Presenters: Valerie Woodhouse, Owner, Honey Field Farm, VT; Ethan Miller, Organizational Development Coordinator, Land in Common, ME, BrennaMae Thomas-Googins, Owner, Patch Farm, ME. Facilitated by Sarah Simon, Maine Farmland Trust (MFT).


RECORDED SESSIONS

Conducting a Farmland Search

For farm seekers and aspiring farmers, the search for land can often be one of the most daunting tasks. In this workshop we discuss the process, strategies, and tools for making the most out of your hunt for farmland. This includes web tools such as online linking sites and soil analysis, affordability calculations and strategies, and methods for evaluating land and infrastructure for suitability. Suitable for farmers not currently on land and for those looking to evaluate current or additional pieces of land. Attendees leave with a road map for secure land tenure that includes how to conduct a land search, determine the “right” type of tenure for their situation, and where to find available land.

Presenters: Sue Lanpher, MFT; Jae Silverman, Massachusetts Field Agent, LFG.

Affording Farmland

This session dives into the mechanics behind accessing and affording farmland, from the most basic lease or purchase, to some of the more innovative methods farmers are using to secure their land tenure. We discuss capital purchases and financing, collaborative models of farming, and the benefits of a range of farmland access methods. This recorded workshop offers accompanying information and resources to complement the Affording Farmland LIVE session to be held Wed, Nov 18.

Presenter: Will O’Meara, Connecticut Field Agent, LFG, with special guest Benneth Phelps, Director of Farmer Services, Dirt Capital Partners.

Establishing Access to Farmland with a Good Lease

For many farmers having a secure long-term lease is an essential part of running their agricultural operation. And yet, far too many agreements are done on a handshake or the language in the lease leaves vital questions unanswered and open to potential problems.

This workshop discusses the significance of all parties communicating values and goals upfront, the importance of having a good lease, what key components should be included in a lease, and reviews Land For Good’s innovative Build-A-Lease tool designed to educate and guide farmers and landowners through the process of crafting a first draft of a lease on their own. Relevant to both landowners and farmers interested in a lease arrangement. Participants leave with knowledge of how a lease can work to their benefit and the skills to craft a lease specific to their situation.

This recorded workshop offers accompanying information and resources to complement the Communication between Farmland Seekers and Landowners LIVE session to be held Wed, Nov 18.

Presenter: Cara Cargill, New Hampshire Field Agent, LFG.

Farm Succession Planning Basics

Farm succession is a significant challenge for most farm families.

How can farmers securely transition out of farming? What if there is no identified successor? How can the junior generation participate in planning?

This introductory session explores what goes into farm succession planning and who needs to be involved. We look at available resources and the role of professional advisors to help families plan for transition.

This recorded workshop offers accompanying information and resources to complement the Farm Transfer Stories and Lessons LIVE session to be held Tuesday, Nov 17.

Presenter: Kathryn Ruhf, Senior Advisor, LFG.

Register now!

Funding for this event is provided by The Land Access Project, Phase 3 (LAP3) which is supported by a grant from the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (NIFA # 2018-70017-28531).

Comments are closed.