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Successful and innovative program, practice and policy ideas from the national conference

Shirley Sherrod, Southwest Georgia Project, addressed a captive audience at the Racial Equity Challenges in Agricultural Land Tenure.

Javier Zamora, owner and operator of JSM Organics (CA), took the stage with other young and beginning farmers to share their inspiring stories.

Andy Sorrell, Virginia Department of Agriculture, took a deep look into farm link programs at an engaging roundtable discussion.

Jerry Cosgrove moderated a workshop on tools, methods and innovations in succession and transfer planning assistance.

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This past June 2017, over 220 people from 40 states convened in Denver, Colorado for our second national conference Changing Lands, Changing Hands. Since Land For Good’s first conference on farm and ranch access, tenure and transfer in 2009, attention to US agricultural land tenure has increased dramatically. Mining the rich cross-section of agricultural service providers, agency personnel, policymakers and farm advocates, the conference collected successful and innovative program, practice and policy ideas on these topics.

This collection is now available through the Changing Lands, Changing Hands conference report. This document organizes workshop notes, video interviews, presentation slides and and participant contributions into six topic areas.

Interested in innovative programs for land seekers? Policy suggestions to foster land transfer? How about racial equity challenges in agricultural land tenure, or new approaches to agricultural easements? This online report lets you drop to the topics of your choice.

Review sessions, selected presentations and the practices, programs and policies from these tracks:

  • Seekers and Land Access
  • Succession and Transfer
  • Landowners
  • Non-traditional Approaches
  • Professional and Network Development

The report also links you to relevant organizations and resources. It will stimulate your thinking and enrich your networking on topics such as land linking, succession advising, public land leasing, heirs property and water rights. Check it out!

Excerpt from conference report: 

Track A:  Seekers & Land Access

Innovative and successful programs and practices shared by presenters and attendees:

Finding land and facilitating transaction

  • Improve farm link programs and networks by being clearer about what service(s) they provide (e.g., listing, linking, matching, advising, educating), and to move away from “matches” as the only outcome.
  • Virginia Certified Farm Seekers Program assists farm seekers to demonstrate their vision and credentials to landowners, thereby also providing landowners with quality farm seekers who are serious about farming and have established goals and plans.
  • Farm bus tours take seekers to visit farm properties: Columbia Land Conservancy.
  • Farmer-landowner mixers (Hudson Valley Farm Link Network, Land For Good and others)
  • Use ag mediation programs to facilitate tenure transactions. Enable Farm Service Agency-certified mediation programs to work on land access negotiations.
  • Land access service providers to support seekers and facilitate transactions. For example: Land For Good consulting; Renewing the Countryside training Land Access Navigators (BFRDP project, 2017-2020); American Farmland Trust’s BFRDP EET project, Land Access Trainers project.

Read full conference report

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