Creating a successful land access match, such as a farmland lease, between a farmer and a non-operating landowner is no simple thing. A farmer should know quite well what they need in order to succeed, while a non-operating landowner knows what they want to see, hear and smell on their farm.
Reconciling these two points of view can be difficult because there are so many moving parts in agriculture. It’s not always tidy. It’s not always quiet. It doesn’t always smell terrific. Without some guidance, many land access arrangements have had poor results. (See this recent New York Times piece.)
Glynwood and the American Farmland Trust (AFT) have collaborated to design and host a workshop series for non-operating landowners entitled: Fostering Equitable Farmland Connections. The intention of the workshop series is to nurture a learning circle for farmland owners. This cohort will learn through sharing stories, challenges and questions, and by seeing examples of successful partnerships. Program content will be delivered through five workshops, multiple tours, and monthly virtual coffee hours.
Fostering Equitable Farmland Connections kicked off at the end of May at Glynwood for a workshop and tour. During this first engagement, participants became acquainted and expressed some of their goals for their land, and took in presentations on matters including taxes, agricultural assessment, insurance, agricultural districts, and zoning. Our second workshop was hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County, and featured a tour of nearby Stonewood Farm. Future workshops will include topics such as planning farmland succession, building farmer-landowner relationships, developing an equitable farm lease, and cultural competency.
We are confident that after these workshops, participants will be better prepared to establish equitable and secure land access opportunities that meet the needs of both landowners and farmland seekers. It is our hope and belief that participants will remain engaged with their new network of peers and service providers for ongoing support on matters such as lease review, assistance with property evaluation, and facilitating direct connections to farmland seekers.
If you are interested in learning more about land access or Farmland for a New Generation NY, please contact Dave Llewellyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.