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Toolbox for Farm Seekers

Welcome to a toolbox for farmers looking to access farmland. If you’re a beginning farmer exploring your options to get onto land, or an established farmer ready to expand, relocate or rethink your land situation, this toolbox offers guides, worksheets, articles and other resources to inform your decision-making and guide your planning and search for farmland. If you are not yet farming, you’ll want to prepare and develop a plan before you even begin searching for land. Materials are most relevant to farming and farms in New England, but many may apply elsewhere

Resources are organized by topic:

Where to Start if you don’t have (much) farming experience – important first steps for new & beginning farmers
Develop your land access plan
examine your farming goals & current situation
Explore strategies to access farmland – methods to examine before starting your search
Consider leasing, purchasing & financing options – is owning or leasing right for you?
Search for land using farm link programs – customize your search area & connect with landowners
Assess land & farm infrastructure – how to sort through & determine your needs

LFG-Favicon  indicates Land For Good authored resource


Where to Start if you don’t have (much) farming experience

  • AgPlan.
    Powerful website to help you generate a draft business plan with customized templates and sample business plans for ideas. University of Minnesota.
  • New Farmers Discovery Tool.
    Personalized search for new farmers, women in agriculture, young farmers, veterans, and new generation seeking land. USDA.
    Programs, resources and comprehensive library to help you get started farming, as well as tools to help more seasoned producers succeed. University of Minnesota, funded by USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant program (BFRDP).

Develop your land access plan

Explore strategies to access farmland

Consider leasing, purchasing & financing options

  • LFG-Favicon Leasing Toolbox.
    Numerous resources for farmers and landowners who are thinking about leasing land, or who want to improve their lease arrangement.
  • LFG-Favicon Learning to Love a Farmland Lease.
    Article highlights the benefits of leasing and tools to support your lease.
  • LFG-Favicon Elements of a Good Farm Lease.
    List of important items to consider with a farm lease.
    Nueva! Elementos de un buen contrato de arrendamiento de granja. Lista de elementos importantes a considerar con un contrato de arrendamiento de finca.
  • LFG-Favicon Webinar: Affording Farmland.
    Learn 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.
  • Affording Our Land.
    Financial literacy guidebook on various land access methods for new farmers. Greenhorns. 
  • Finding Farmland Calculator.
    Mortgage calculator for determining financing options and creditworthiness when buying farmland. National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Finding a Farm to Buy or Lease.
    Basic information with resources specific to New York State. Cornell Small Farms Program, Northeast Beginning Farmers Project.
  • Equity Trust.
    National non-profit organization helping communities to gain ownership interests in land and other local resources, as well as alternative ownership structures for farms.
  • Farmland Purchasing Basics.
    Answers to the most common legal questions around purchasing and financing farmland. Farm Commons.

Search for land using farm link programs

  • New England Farmland Finder.
    Free website to post or search for farm properties for sale or lease, covering all six New England states.
  • New England Farm Link Program Guide.
    Guide explains New England’s four farm link programs – Vermont Land Link, Maine Farm Link, Connecticut Farm Link and New England Farmland Finder – and what they offer.
  • New England Farm Link Collaborative.
    Organizations helping build awareness, farmer and landowner readiness, and connections among farm seekers, farmers and landowners of all types in all New England states.
  • LFG-Favicon Additional Strategies To Find Farmland.
    Tip sheet for preparing for your land search. Your chances of success are greater if you use a multi-pronged approach.
  • LFG-Favicon Webinar: Conducting a Farmland Search.
    Understand the process, strategies, and tools available as you search for farmland including farm linking sites, soil analysis, affordability calculations, and methods for evaluating land and infrastructure.

If you are looking for property outside of New England, visit American Farmland Trust’s national list of farm link programs.

Assess land & farm infrastructure

Thank you to Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming, and Cultivemos, formerly the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Northeast, for funding select Spanish translated materials.

Need more help? Contact us.

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