Is your land trust doing all it can to protect farmland for the next generation of farmers?
In 2013, the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) conducted a survey of over 200 land trusts and conservation professionals. This formed the basis of Conservation 2.0, a report on how land trusts can help support America’s working farms. The report adds to the consistent, overall picture of the land access challenges that young farmers face, and the role that land trusts in particular can play in helping all farmers overcome these obstacles.
The innovation and leadership demonstrated by a number of land trusts – including several in New England and the Northeast – have opened up new possibilities for helping these farmers succeed.
In response, NYFC and Equity Trust are convening a national training and working group focused on farmland affordability tools and implementation to scale up these strategies.
The one-day, in-person training will take place on Sunday, September 21, 2014 in Providence RI from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.
The training is aimed at staff from land trusts with a high degree of commitment to protecting working farms and sufficient capacity to move forward in the implementation of farm protection projects that incorporate affordability innovations.
The deadline for applications is Friday, July 25th, 2014, but email Holly [at] youngfarmers.org if you are interested – and tell her Land For Good sent you!
Land trust participants will receive coaching on easement enhancements and ground leases that preserve affordability and active farming; funding strategies; monitoring and enforcement; and legal considerations. They will also receive ongoing implementation support from the following mentor organizations: Equity Trust (lead mentor), Vermont Land Trust, Peconic Land Trust, PCC Farmland Trust, and Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. A $500 reimbursement is available to participating land trusts to help cover travel costs.
Land trusts can play an important role in helping the next generation of farmers access land.
You can read more about land trusts, farmland protection and land access in:
- A New York Times Op-Ed by the NYFC founders
- Local food a growing trend for land trusts EcoWatch (4.5.13)
- Farmland Protection Programs Coming of Age Farming magazine (June 2014)
Portions of this post were adapted with permission from NYFC.