Welcome to a toolbox for owners of properties that are or could be used for farming. This toolbox offers detailed resources to help you through your decision making and negotiations. Owners and managers of agricultural land have critical roles to play in supporting farmers and local food systems. Materials are most relevant to farming and farms in New England, but many may apply elsewhere.
- Private landowners – individuals, families, family trusts
- Institutional landowners – religious and educational, for example
- Organizational landowners – land trusts, other conservation organizations, community farms, educational organizations, etc.
- Public landowners – municipal, county, state and federal properties that are or can be made available for farming, usually via leasing
- Corporate landowners – business parks and headquarters, mall properties.
Resources are organized by topic:
Getting started – get your bearings with these tools & important first steps
Assessing your farmland – how to assess & describe your property
Post your property on farm link programs – create an effective property listing to share widely & connect with farmers looking for land
indicates Land For Good authored resource
- Where Do I Start? Making My Land Available for Farming.
Short worksheet focusing on big picture thinking and a framework to examine land goals, current situation, and other considerations.
- A Landowner’s Guide to Leasing Land for Farming.
Guidebook to assist landowners to make land available for farming by others.
- Farmland Leasing for Private Landowners.
Guide or brief introduction to the issues you need to think about and the issues involved in renting land to a farmer.
- Leasing Toolbox.
Numerous resources for farmers and landowners who are thinking about leasing land, or who want to improve their lease arrangement.
- Liability and Insurance in a Farm Lease.
Short guide on farm risk, liability, and insurance that answers landowners’ and tenants’ common concerns. 6 pp.
- Leasing Land to Farmers: A Handbook for New England Land Trusts, Municipalities and Institutions.
Guidebook to help land trusts, municipalities and institutions such as schools, churches and nonprofit organizations that own farmland to keep that land in production — or bring it into production — by leasing it to farmers.
- Webinar Series: Make Your Land Available for Farming.
Understand your land’s potential for farming, learn what goes into a good farming arrangement, and explore strategies for making any amount of land available to a farmer. Hosted by Land For Good together with the New England Farm Link Collaborative.
Part 1. Discover the benefits of making your land available for farming.
Part 2. Learn different methods & approaches to making your land available for farming.
- Support BIPOC Farmers in Your Community.
Webinar with tools and resources for municipalities, land trusts, and non-profits working to become a stronger ally for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and advance equity-based land access partnerships and projects. Maine Farmland Trust, American Farmland Trust, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, Southeast Land Trust NH, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.
- Faithlands Toolkit.
Guide to transformative land use that supports partnerships between farmers, faith communities, and food systems in celebration of our interconnectedness to one another. Faithlands is an interfaith collaboration led by Agrarian Trust.
Assessing your farmland
- Farm Evaluation Checklist.
Checklist of considerations for location, land, infrastructure, climate and housing.
- Vermont Natural Resource Atlas Mapping Tutorial.
Blog introduction about how to navigate this natural resource atlas, or see full tutorial.
- Vermont Natural Resources Atlas.
Geographic information about the Vermont’s environmental features and sites. Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
New Hampshire’s Statewide Geographic Information System of topographic maps including soils, flooding hazards, water resources, and more. University of New Hampshire.
- Using the NRCS Web Pages to Get Soils Information.
Guide for using NRCS website, the nation’s most comprehensive source for soils information. Maryland FarmLINK Guide.
- Web Soil Survey.
Website considered the single authoritative source of soil survey information. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
- UC Davis Tool for navigating websoil survey data.
Interactive map allows you to explore USDA-NCSS soil survey data for locations throughout most of the US. UC Davis, NRCS. See also this introduction to the tool with tips from our staff.
- RIDEM Environmental Resource Map in the RIDEM Map Room.
Interactive map resources viewable through the ArcGIS Online map viewer. Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
- Google My Maps tutorial.
Tips from our staff to create custom maps and easily calculate acreage to assess properties, look at boundaries, etc.
- Area Calculator Tool.
Useful tools to calculate the area of a parcel or field. Google Maps or PlaniMeter by ACME
- How to Determine Land Area and Distance With Your Smartphone
Article from On Pasture about how to use GeoMeasure, an app for iOS and Android smartphones.
Post your property on farm link programs
Free website to post or search for farm properties for sale or lease, covering all six New England states. New England Farm Link Collaborative.
- New England Farm Link Program 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.
- How to Create Effective Online Property Postings for Farm Link Websites.
Guide for landowners to create accurate and appealing online farm property postings specifically focusing on how to convey information most relevant for farmers.
- New England Farm Link Collaborative.
Collaborative that builds awareness, farmer and landowner readiness, and connections among farm seekers, farmers and landowners of all types in all New England states. Connecticut Farm Link, Maine Farm Link, Land For Good, Vermont Land Link.
- How to Determine the Right Farm Rental Rate (2014), UVM Extension New Farmer Project
- Cooperative Holding of Land, Chapter 5 in Cooperative Farming by The Greenhorns
- Successful Farming on a Land Cooperative, a farmer’s story and case study
- Land resource page, New England Small Farm Institute
- Holding Ground: A Guide to Northeast Farmland Tenure and Stewardship, New England Small Farm Institute (purchase)
- Farmland Transfer & Protection in New England, New England Small Farm Institute (purchase)
- Farm Rental Agreement Checklist, Ohio State University Extension
Need more help? Contact us.
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