New Hampshire farmers will face land access challenges head-on with help from local groups. At a January 31st Farmland Access & Transfer Workshop in North Haverhill, NH farmers will get help from 12 local groups to understand the options, resources and steps to accessing or transferring a farm business or farmland.
In NH, senior farmers (age 65 or older) operate 30% of the state’s farms. The 158,000 acres and $628 million in land and agricultural infrastructure they own will transfer ownership in the next 10-20 years. A recent study shed light on what will be needed to facilitate the transition of these farms and farmland to a next generation of farmers.
According to a recent study, of the 1,338 senior farmers in the state, just 6% of them have someone under age 45 managing the farm with them. How and to whom this land and farm infrastructure transfers will have an enormous impact on the future of farming in NH. (Gaining Insights, Gaining Access) NH also had 15% fewer young (under 45) farm operators in 2012 than in 2002. A new generation of farmers needs information and support to keep our farmland in farming.
Access to farmland is a top obstacle for new and beginning farmers. They need to know where to turn for help and resources in their community, and to start building their networks and social capital. These events accelerate that process,” says Cara Cargill, NH Field Agent for Land For Good, a non-profit organization that helps farmers navigate the complex challenges of land access, tenure and transfer.
A free workshop will be held January 31, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the UNH Cooperative Extension office, 3855 Dartmouth College Highway, North Haverhill, NH. New and established farmers and members of the agricultural community seeking to buy or lease land will connect with advisors that can answer questions about how to plan, evaluate and buy farm property, qualify for funding, understand conservation easements, owner financing options, and much more. Twelve (12) service providers will be there to offer assistance. Farmers will learn about finding and evaluating farmland, as well as purchase, lease and financing options, and leasing or taking over a retiring farmer’s operation. Space is limited!
Many local groups and professionals at the workshop will include: Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, BCM Environmental & Land Law, Hvizda Team Keller Williams, Land For Good, NH Agricultural Mediation Program, NH Community Loan Fund, UNH Cooperative Extension, USDA Farm Service Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Vital Communities, and Yankee Farm Credit.
To register, call Land For Good at 603-357-1600 or at landforgood.org/rsvp.
More events are planned around the state. For more info or to request a consultation, call Land For Good at 603-357-1600.