Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland
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Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

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Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland Document Transcript

  • 1. FEE TITLE PURCHASE WITH SIMULTANEOUS CONSERVATION EASEMENTContentsVarious Agreements for Leasing and Owning Land..........page 2 Finding Land to Farm.................................page 3 • Cash Lease Resources for Farmers Seeking Land Tenure..11 • Crop Share • Long-Term Lease Land Linking Programs ...................................... 13 • Lease with Option to Buy or Right of First Refusal Elements of a Good Lease.................................. 15 • Fee Title Purchase with Seller Financing • Fee Title Purchase with Agricultural Conservation Easement Kinds of Consultants You May Need................ 15 ATTRA—National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT website, www.ncat.org for more information .
  • 2. A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgVarious Agreements for Leasing and Owning LandThis publication highlights some common ways to lease or Lease with Option to Buyown land. It outlines important considerations about eachof these leasing options and paths to ownership. or Right of First Refusal There are two ways a lease can improve ownership oppor-Renting farmland is a common practice in U.S. agriculture, tunities for a tenant farmer:where more than 45 percent of the 917 million farmlandacres are rented. According to the 1999 Agricultural Eco- • With a “Purchase Option,” the owner and ten-nomics and Land Ownership Survey, 60 percent of farmland ant pre-determine the purchase price, with a daterent is paid in cash, 24 percent in shares of production, and for execution of the purchase. The tenant pays for11 percent in a cash/share combination. Following are short this option up front, and the rent money can countdescriptions of the various leasing and ownership options toward an initial down payment.covered in this publication. • With a “Right of First Refusal” clause, theCash Lease owner can only sell the land to a third party afterMost cash leases are short-term, requiring little commit- the tenant has had a chance to “refuse,” by match-ment from either landowner or tenant farmer. Long-term ing that third-party offer and making the purchaseleases can be an affordable way for farmers to use more first. This helps ensure that an owner doesn’t sellsustainable practices and to invest more in their busi- the land “out from under” the tenant, but the ten-nesses. Many leases are based on a handshake. Verbal ant must be ready to act quickly.agreements are considered legal leases for one year, butthis is NOT recommendable for either party, as conflicts Fee Title Purchase with Seller Financingcan arise even among friends when terms are not clearly In this model the new buyer takes possession of the landstated on outset. A written lease provides benefits and and makes payments directly to the seller, as writtensecurity for both parties. in a “note.” This works very well when a good relation- ship has been established. The landowner can see theCrop Share property transferred to a promising new farmer, and theIn this model, rent payment consists of part of the crop, new farmer can secure that note—sometimes by virtuemost often paid as part of the income from total crop of his or her “character” more than conventional lend-sold. Also known as “share-crop” and “share lease,” this ing requirements. Even better, brokerage fees are avoidedwas historically disadvantageous to tenant farmers, but by both parties. Payments can be structured like a typi-can work well for beginning farmers without start-up cal mortgage, or in the case of an installment or landcapital. Crop share arrangements are common in peren- contract sale, made periodically. This strategy is often anial crops and some commodities, for example fruit and good way to transfer land to the next generation withinnut operations, hay, field crops, processing tomatoes. a family.Agreements may have maximum and minimum limitsto protect the farmer and landowner, respectively. Fee Title Purchase with Agricultural Conservation EasementLong-Term Lease An agricultural conservation easement forever extin-This model is as close to ownership as a lease can get. guishes development rights on that land, making it lessThe term is usually 40 to 99 years depending on state valuable to nonfarmers. These types of easements arelaw. This is longer than the average mortgage. These used if a landowner wishes to see the land remain avail-types of leases may even be inheritable. They are used able for agriculture: He or she donates or sells the land’sfor publicly owned land and commercial real estate, but development rights in the form of an agricultural conser-are less common in agriculture. They are sometimes used vation easement to a nonprofit land trust or governmentby cities and land trusts who own the land but wish to agency, which ensures that the easement goals are upheldguarantee farmers lifetime tenure. Because of their lon- forever. This can drop the after-easement value, or “ease-gevity, the intent and clauses of leases must be very care- ment encumbered value,” of the land into an affordablefully drafted so they will last as long as the lease term. price range for a new farmer.Page 2 ATTRA Finding Land to Farm
  • 3. SORRY PEDRO — IF YOU ONLY HAD A VERBAL AGREEMENT, IT‛S YOUR WORD AGAINST THE LANDOWNER‛S, AND IT COULD BE TIED UP IN THE COURTS FOR A LONG TIME. IF YOU LEASE LAND AGAIN, GET A SIGNED CONTRACT!www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 3
  • 4. Page 4 ATTRA Finding Land to Farm
  • 5. CASH LEASE AGREEMENTS ◊ VARIABLE DURATION • SHORT TERM LEASES ALLOW “TRIAL PERIOD” FOR BOTH LANDOWNER AND FARMER • LONG TERM LEASES ARE PREDICTABLE FOR THE OWNER AND SECURE FOR THE FARMER ◊ PAYMENT SCHEDULE NEGOTIABLE ◊ FARMER & LANDOWNER KNOW HOW MUCH THE RENT WILL BE DISADVANTAGES (IF LEASE IS SHORT) ◊ DIFFICULT TO MAKE LONG-TERM DECISIONS AND INVESTMENTS ◊ LENDERS MAY BALK AT FINANCING IMPROVEMENTS ◊ LESS INCENTIVE TO USE SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES TO IMPROVE THE SOIL ◊ NO EQUITY IS BUILT UP (SHORT OR LONG LEASE) ◊ LANDOWNER DOESN‛T SHARE RISK IF FARMER HAS A POOR CROP OR CROP HASN‛T COME IN YETwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 5
  • 6. CROP SHARE LEASE ◊ RENT PAYMENT CONSISTS OF PART OF THE CROP, MOST OFTEN PAID AS PART OF THE INCOME FROM TOTAL CROP SOLD BUT CAN ALSO BE CALCULATED AS A PORTION OF NET ◊ IF THE TENANT FARMER DOES VERY WELL, THE CROP INCOME AFTER EXPENSES. PAYMENT IS USUALLY NOT SHARE RENT MAY EXCEED LOCAL CASH-LEASE RATES. REQUIRED UNTIL CROP COMES IN. YOU MAY WISH TO INCLUDE A “MAXIMUM PAY- ◊ RISK IS SHARED BETWEEN PARTIES. MENT CLAUSE,” WHICH WOULD PROTECT THE ◊ THIS KIND OF LEASE IS HISTORICALLY DISADVANTAGEOUS TENANT AGAINST PAYING TOO MUCH FOR RENT. TO TENANT FARMERS, BUT MAY BE A GOOD OPTION FOR BEGINNING FARMERS WITHOUT START-UP CAPITAL. ◊ CONVERSELY, A “MINIMUM PAYMENT CLAUSE” WOULD PROTECT THE LANDOWNER FROM ◊ IT CAN BE HARD TO BUDGET FOR AN EXACT RECEIVING TOO LITTLE PAYMENT (FOR EXAMPLE, RENT AMOUNT. NEITHER PARTY KNOWS IN CASE OF CROP FAILURE BY TENANT), BUT WHAT A FARM WILL YIELD, SO PAYMENT AMOUNTS ARE UNCERTAIN. SHOULD REFLECT THE “SHARED RISK” BETWEEN OWNERS DON‛T WANT THE RENT TO THE LANDLORD AND TENANT. BE TOO LOW. TENANTS DON‛T WANT IT TO BE TOO HIGH.Page 6 ATTRA Finding Land to Farm
  • 7. LONG TERM LEASE ◊ OFFERS MOST ADVANTAGES OF OWNERSHIP WITHOUT NEED FOR DOWN PAYMENT OR HEAVY BORROWING. LESS COMMON IN AN AGRICULTURAL CONTEXT. ◊ SOME LONG-TERM LEASES ARE INHERITABLE AND ALLOW FOR TRANSFER TO THE NEXT GENERATION. LOOK AT YOUR STATE‛S REAL ESTATE CODE. ◊ BECAUSE OF THEIR LONGEVITY, THESE LEASES CAN BE HIGHLY COMPLEX. THE INTENT AND CLAUSES MUST BE VERY CARE- FULLY DRAFTED TO LAST AS LONG AS THE LEASE TERM. ◊ LANDOWNERS ARE NOT OFTEN WILLING TO MAKE SUCH A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT, OR TO RISK TITLE FOR TENANT FINANCING ◊ TENANT IS SUBJECT TO LEASE TERMS WHICH MUST REMAIN REASONABLE AND PRUDENT FOR DURATION OF LEASE. MULTIPLE DECADES ARE A LONG TIME TO PLAN FOR! ◊ FARMER‛S ABILITY TO RECOVER EQUITY IN LAND MAY BE LIMITED, DEPENDING ON AGREEMENT. IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE LANDOWNER WANTS, BUT LET‛S VISIT A FRIEND WHO HAS PURCHASED SOME LAND USING AN EASEMENT TO REDUCE THE COST OF THE LANDwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 7
  • 8. Page 8 ATTRA Finding Land to Farm
  • 9. FEE TITLE PURCHASE WITH AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT ◊ THE USE OF THE PROPERTY (THE DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS) IS RESTRICTED BY THE TERMS OF THE CONSERVATION EASEMENT AND THOSE RESTRICTIONS APPLY TO ALL FUTURE OWNERS OF THE PROPERTY ◊ THE DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS (IN THE FORM OF A CONSERVATION EASEMENT) ARE DONATED OR SOLD TO A NONPROFIT LAND TRUST OR GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHICH HOLDS THE EASEMENT AND ENSURES IT IS UPHELD. THE AFTER-EASEMENT VALUE (OR EASEMENT-ENCUMBERED VALUE) OF THE LAND MAY DROP THE PRICE INTO AN AFFORDABLE RANGE FOR A NEW FARMER. THIS CAN OCCUR IN SEVERAL WAYS: ◊ THE LANDOWNER COULD SELL THE EASEMENT FIRST, THEN SELL THE ENCUMBERED LAND TO A NEW FARMER. ◊ THE NEW FARMER COULD PARTNER WITH A LAND TRUST TO MAKE A JOINT PURCHASE OFFER TO THE LANDOWNER. (OCCASIONALLY A LAND TRUST BUYS FIRST, THEN SELLS TO A FARMER THROUGH A BIDDING PROCESS) ◊ THE NEW FARMER COULD CREATIVELY FINANCE LAND PURCHASE, WITH A COMMITMENT BY THE LAND TRUST TO PURCHASE THE EASEMENT IN FUTURE. FEE TITLE PURCHASE WITH AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT ◊ FARMERS SEEKING TO BUY LAND HAVE A BETTER CHANCE WHEN THEY‛RE NOT BIDDING ON RESIDENTIAL OR RANCHETTE REAL ESTATE VALUE. EASEMENTS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFFORDABLE OWNERSHIP AND LIFELONG LEASING. ◊ SELLERS CAN SEE THEIR AGRICULTURAL LEGACY CONTINUED. WITH TAX BENEFITS, THEY CAN SOMETIMES RECEIVE CLOSE TO FAIR MARKET VALUE FOR THE LAND. ◊ BECAUSE EASEMENTS RESTRICT PROPERTY RIGHTS, THEY MAY LIMIT VALUES OR OWNERS‛ ABILITY TO GET FINANCING. ◊ AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENTS DON‛T ALWAYS WORK AS INTENDED. THESE EASEMENT-ENCUMBERED PROPERTIES OFTEN STILL HAVE HIGH RURAL-ESTATE HOME VALUE TO NON-FARMERS. ◊ PROCESS CAN BE SLOW, SINCE LAND TRUSTS USUALLY HAVE TO APPLY FOR FUNDING TO PURCHASE EASEMENTS. ◊ EASEMENTS ARE, IN THEORY, FOREVER. THIS PRESENTS CHALLENGES TO CURRENT AND FUTURE LANDOWNERS AS TO COMPLIANCE AND FUTURE ENFORCEABILITY OF EASEMENTS.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 9
  • 10. FEE TITLE PURCHASE WITH SELLER FINANCING FEE TITLE PURCHASE WITH SELLER FINANCING ADVANTAGES (CONTINUED) ◊ BROKERAGE FEES AVOIDED BY BOTH PARTIES ◊ IN THIS MODEL, THE NEW BUYER TAKES POSSESSION OF THE LAND, MAKES PAYMENTS DIRECTLY TO SELLER. ◊ GOOD WAY TO TRANSFER LAND TO NEXT GENERATION ◊ THIS WORKS VERY WELL WHEN A GOOD RELATIONSHIP ◊ INSTALLMENT PLAN MAY BE STRUCTURED FOR HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. THE LANDOWNER CAN SEE SMALLER INITIAL PAYMENTS WITH LARGER THE PROPERTY TRANSFERRED TO A PROMISING NEW “BALLOON” PAYMENTS WHEN FARMER EXPECTS FARMER, AND THE NEW FARMER CAN BUILD EQUITY, TO BE MORE FINANCIALLY PREPARED SOMETIMES WITHOUT HIGH DOWN PAYMENT DISADVANTAGES ADVANTAGES ◊ IF BUYER DEFAULTS, THE LAND GOES ◊ CHARACTER LOAN MAY BE EASIER IN THIS BACK TO THE SELLER AND THE BUYER‛S SCENARIO. BUYER DOESN‛T NECESSARILY EQUITY MAY BE LOST. HAVE TO QUALIFY FOR TRADITIONAL BANK OR GOVERNMENT LOAN. ◊ MOST INITIAL PAYMENTS COVER INTEREST ONLY, OR MAY BE VERY ◊ LANDOWNER CAN SPREAD OUT CAPITAL LARGE. REQUIRED DOWN PAYMENTS GAINS FOR TAX PURPOSES. MAY ALSO BE LARGE. ADVANTAGES ◊ THE FARMER IS GUARANTEED THAT LAND WILL NOT BE “SOLD OUT FROM UNDER” HIM OR HER. LEASE WITH OPTION TO BUY ◊ WITH AN OPTION IN WHICH THE RENT PAYMENT GOES TOWARD EVENTUAL PURCHASE, THE FARMER THERE ARE TWO WAYS A LEASE CAN IMPROVE BUILDS EQUITY TOWARD OWNERSHIP. OWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR A TENANT FARMER. ◊ WHEN THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT IS ATTACHED, FARMER CAN PLAN FOR A KNOWN PURCHASE PRICE. 1) WITH A “FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL” CLAUSE, THE TENANT GETS TO MAKE THE FIRST OFFER PRIOR DISADVANTAGES TO THE OWNER LISTING THE LAND FOR SALE, AT ◊ WITH FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL, TENANTS HAVE THE SELLER‛S ASKING PRICE. LITTLE NEGOTIATING POWER—THEY CAN ONLY EX 2) WITH AN “OPTION AGREEMENT,” OWNER ERCISE THE RIGHT BY AGREEING TO SELLER‛S TERMS. AND TENANT PRE-DETERMINE PURCHASE ◊ IF THE FARMER IS NOT FINANCIALLY PRICE, WITH A REQUIRED DATE OF READY WHEN THE PROPERTY IS EXECUTION OF PURCHASE. TENANT PUT UP FOR SALE, OR AT PAYS FOR THIS OPTION UP FRONT, THE AGREED-UPON AND RENT MONEY SOMETIMES COUNTS PURCHASE DATE (OPTION), TOWARD INITIAL DOWN PAYMENT. THE ADVANTAGE AND THE RENT EQUITY ARE LOST. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP, JOE! I‛M GOING TO THINK ABOUT THIS, STUDY THE RESOURCES* AND TALK WITH MY FAMILY. I‛VE LEARNED A LOT.Page 10 ATTRA Finding Land to Farm
  • 11. Resources for Farmers Seeking Land TenurePublications and Web Resources OrganizationsFarmers for the Future is an internet resource for New England Small Farm Institute’s mission is to pro-beginning farmers which can be found on the Farm mote small farm development by providing informationCredit System-sponsored “Agriculture Online” web- and training for aspiring, beginning and transitioningsite. It includes featured profiles of farmers, articles farmers. NESFI maintains an extensive resource collec-about farm transitions and beginning farmers who have tion, produces publications, develops and offers innova-“made it,” and a list of links for beginning farmers. tive farmer-guided programs, and advocates for policieswww.agriculture.com/ag/category.jhtml?categoryid=/ that encourage sustainable small-scale agriculture. templatedata/ag/category/data/agfuturechannel.xml 275 Jackson St., Belchertown, MA 01007 413-323-4531; 413-323-9594 (fax)A Farmers’ Guide to Securing Land, by California info@smallfarm.org; www.smallfarm.orgFarmLink, 2008, provides tools and examples to helplandowners, farmers and service providers keep farmland The Intervale Center of Burlington, VT supportsin viable agriculture. The book includes an overview financially viable and environmentally sustainable agri-of farmland tenure in the U.S.—who owns and oper- culture. Its mission is to develop farm- and land-basedates American farmland—and some of the challenges enterprises that generate economic and social opportu-to keeping land in the hands of farmers. Each chapter nity while protecting natural resources. The Intervaledescribes a land tenure “model” such as lease, partner- Farms Program creates opportunities for new farmersship or ownership. These are explained by real case stud- by leasing land and facilities to small organic enterprises.ies collected by California FarmLink staff and associ- The program provides technical support and network-ates. The book includes a CD-ROM that contains many ing among other more experienced farmers. The Suc-of the actual lease, partnership or purchase documents cess on Farms Program works one on one with farmersused in these examples. www.californiafarmlink.org throughout Vermont to help strengthen their businesses through increased revenues, more effective marketing,Holding Ground: A Guide to Northeast Farmland consideration of processing value-added products at theTenure and Stewardship. Kathy Ruhf, Annette Higby, farm, and other strategies.Andrea Woloschuk and others. 2004. Belchertown, Mass. 180 Intervale Road, Burlington, VT 05401The New England Small Farm Institute and Intervale 802-660-0440; www.intervale.orgFoundation (see “Organizations” section for more infor-mation on each of these). This publication addresses Land For Good’s mission is to keep New England’sfarmland access, transfer, affordability and stewardship. productive land cared for and in active use for the ben-It focuses on “non-ownership” tenure options and con- efit of the owners, the land and the community. Thistains sample lease provisions with explanations, sample New England nonprofit helps families and organiza-stewardship standards, worksheets, and case studies. tions plan for, manage and pass on working lands. The$30.00; 162 pages, paperback. group fosters professional and community networks, public awareness and policies to keep New England’sMinority Landowner is a monthly periodical featuring working lands working. Land For Good offers assis-articles and information specifically targeting minor- tance with farm transfer planning, leases and otherity landowners in the southeastern United States and land use agreements, farm design and land planning,addressing the issues they face. Contact Victor L. Harris and conservation development.at 919-215-1632 or ccpublishing@earthlink.net 29 Center Street, Keene, NH 03431National Farm Transition Network supports programs 603-357-1600that foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers. info@landforgood.org; www.landforgood.orgBelow is a list of linking programs, which work with the American Society of Farm Managers and RuralNFTN. Value-Added and Alternative Agriculture Tool Appraisers is a nationwide organization for profession-Kit, from the NCSU College of Agriculture and Life als who provide management, valuation, and consultingSciences, provides an overview and on-line references. services on agricultural and rural assets. The Californiawww.ncvalueadded.org/business-management.html Chapter publishes Trends in Agricultural Land and Leasewww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 11
  • 12. Values, an excellent guide to farm-land values. The Soci- with advocacy at the national level, as well as support forety was formed in 1929. the local Black farming community.950 South Cherry Street, Suite 508 P.O Box 61, Tillery, NC 27887Denver, CO 80246-2664 252-826-2800303-758-0190 info@bfaa-us.org; www.bfaa-us.orginfo@asfmra.org; www.asfmra.com Agriculture and Land-Based Training AssociationUSDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers two financ- (ALBA) provides educational and business opportunitiesing programs for land purchase which especially ben- for farmworkers and aspiring farmers to grow and sellefit beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. The crops grown on two organic farms in Monterey County,new Farm Bill provides for the Land Contract Guar- California. ALBA provides educational and economicantee Program and the Direct Farm Ownership Loan opportunities for limited-resource, aspiring and immi-Program. Because traditional methods of farm entry grant farmers.and farm succession are no longer adequate to meet P.O. Box 6264, Salinas, California 93912current challenges, the agency also offers the Begin- 831-758-1469, 831-758-3665 faxning Farmer and Rancher Land Contract Guarantee www.albafarmers.orgPilot Program. This pilot program will explore whetherland contract sales are a viable alternative for facili- Land Loss Prevention Project is dedicated to landtating land transfers to beginning farmers and ranch- retention and environmental justice by providing train-ers. The pilot program will be available in Indiana, ing and legal support. The organization is dedicated toNorth Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and the preservation of the family farm. The project wasIowa. Contact the local Farm Service Agency office. founded in 1982 by the North Carolina Association ofwww.fsa.usda.gov Black Lawyers to curtail epidemic losses of Black-owned land in North Carolina. The organization broadened itsAmerican Farmland Trust, founded in 1980 by a group mission in 1993 to provide legal support and assistanceof farmers and conservationists concerned about the to all financially distressed and limited-resource farmersrapid loss of the nation’s farmland to development, is a and landowners in North Carolina.nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protect- P.O. Box 179, Durham, NC 27702ing our nation’s strategic agricultural resources. The trust 919-682-5969provides legislative updates, conferences and e-news. www.landloss.org1200 18th Street, NW, Suite 800Washington, D.C. 20036 Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project sup-202-659-8339 ports farmers and rural communities in the mountainsinfo@farmland.org; www.farmland.org of Western North Carolina and the Southern Appala- chians by providing education, mentoring, promotion,Equity Trust is a small, national nonprofit organiza- web resources, and community and policy development.tion committed to changing the spirit and character of 729 Haywood Rd. #3our material relationships. The Trust helps communi- Asheville, NC 28806ties gain ownership interests in their food, land, and 828-236-1282housing. The group works with people to make eco-nomic changes that balance the needs of individuals FarmLASTS Project seeks to improve how farm andwith the needs of the community, the earth, and future ranch land is acquired, stewarded, and passed on. Teamgenerations. Equity Trust offers land tenure counseling, members are drawn from organizations across the U.S.financing, and land stewardship services. The project’s working groups conduct research and edu-PO Box 746 , Turners Falls, MA 01376 cation on farmland access, farm succession, and thePhone: 413-863-9038 impact of these arrangements on land use and the envi-Fax: 413-863-9082 ronment. In June 2009 the project convened a national conference in Colorado to address these issues. Theinfo@equitytrust.org; www.equitytrust.org USDA/CSREES-funded project is directed by staff atBlack Farmers and Agriculturalists Association was the University of Vermont and Land for Good.created to respond to the issues and concerns of Black Contact Kathy Ruhf, kzruhf@verizon.net;farmers in the U.S. and abroad. The group is concerned www.farmlasts.orgPage 12 ATTRA Finding Land to Farm
  • 13. Land Linking Programs Ag Link Fax: 517.323.6604 Iowa State University Contact: Matthew Smego,National Farm www.extension.iastate.edu/bfc/Aglink msmego@mail.michfb.comTransition Network Iowa State also has links to some www.michiganfarmbureau.com/ very good on-line presentations by benefits/farmlink.phpThe goal of the network is to sup-port programs that foster the next previous Ag Link presenters: www.generation of farmers and ranchers. extension.iastate.edu/bfc/pubs.html MinnesotaFarm linking organizations develop Land Stewardship Project Maine Farm Beginningsnew transition and tenure strategiesfor the entry of the next generation Maine Farmlink P.O. Box 130and the exit of the existing farmer. 97 Main Street Lewiston, MN 55952Below is a list of linking programs Belfast, ME 04915 Office: 507.523.3366that work with the Network. Office: 207.338.6575 Contact: Karen Stettler,Beginning Farmer Center Fax: 207.338.6024 stettler@landstewardshipproject.org10861 Douglas Ave., Suite B Contact: Esther LaCognata, www.landstewardshipproject.orgUrbandale, Iowa 50322 esther@mainefarmlink.orgjrbaker@iastate.edu; www.mainefarmlink.org Montanawww.farmtransition.org New England Land Link Land Link Montana P.O. Box 608 Community Food &California Belchertown, MA 01007 Agriculture CoalitionCalifornia FarmLink Office: 413.323.4531 127 N. Higgins Ave., Suite 305P.O. Box 2224 Fax: 413.323.9594 Missoula, MT 59802Sebastopol, CA 95473 Contact: Eric Toensmeier Phone: 406.543.0542Office: 707.829.1691 E-mail: landlink@smallfarm.org Contact: Paul Hubbard,Fax: 707.829.1693 www.smallfarm.org pfhubbard@gmail.comContact: Steve Schwartz www.landlinkmontana.orgE-mail: info@californiafarmlink.org Marylandwww.californiafarmlink.org Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Nebraska P.O. Box 169 Land LinkConnecticut Queenstown, MD 21658 Center for Rural AffairsNew England Land Link Office: 410.827.9756 145 Main St.P.O. Box 608 www.eslc.org PO Box 136Belchertown, MA 01007 Lyons, NE 68038 Massachusetts Office: 402.687.2100Office: 413.323.4531Fax: 413.323.9594 New England Land Link Fax: 402.687.2200Contact: Eric Toensmeier P.O. Box 608 Contact: Michael HoltonE-mail: landlink@smallfarm.org Belchertown, MA 01007 E-mail: info@cfra.orgwww.smallfarm.org Office: 413.323.4531 www.cfra.org/issues/become.htm Fax: 413.323.9594 Beginning Farmer Program Contact: Eric ToensmeierIowa Nebraska Dep’t of Agriculture E-mail: landlink@smallfarm.orgFarm On – Beginning Farmer P.O. Box 94947 www.smallfarm.orgCenter Lincoln, NE 68509-4947Iowa State University Extension Office: 402.471.6890 Michigan Toll-free: 800.446.407110861 Douglas Avenue, Suite BUrbandale, IA 50322 FarmLink Fax: 402.471.2525Office: 877.BFC.1999 Michigan Farm Bureau Contact: Marian Beethe,Fax: 515.252.7829 7373 W Saginaw Hwy. mbeethe@agr.ne.govContact: John Baker Lansing, MI 48917 www.agr.ne.gov — click onE-mail: jrbaker@iastate.edu Office: 517.323.7000 “Beginning Farmer”www.extension.iastate.edu/bfc Toll-free: 888.805.4864www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 13
  • 14. New Hampshire programs, educational opportuni- Virginia ties and financial resources.New England Land Link Virginia FarmLink P.O. Box 1286P.O. Box 608 Virginia Department of Agriculture Molalla, OR, 97038Belchertown, MA 01007 and Consumer Services info@friendsoffamilyfarmers.orgOffice: 413.323.4531 P.O. Box 1163 www.ifarmoregon.orgFax: 413.323.9594 Richmond, VA 23218Contact: Eric Toensmeier Office: 804.786.3501E-mail: landlink@smallfarm.org Pennsylvania Fax: 804.371.2945www.smallfarm.org Pennsylvania Farm Link, Inc. Contact: William P. Dickinson, Jr., PA Dept. of Agriculture wdickinson@vdacs.state.va.usNew Jersey 2301 N. Cameron Street, Rm 311 www.savefarms.com/farmlink_ Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408 about.htmAg Development Committee Office: 717.705.2121State of New Jersey Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Fax: 717.787.5643PO Box 330 P.O. Box 27552 E-mail: mail@pafarmlink.orgTrenton, NJ 08625-0330 Richmond, Virginia 23261-7552 www.pafarmlink.orgOffice: 609.984.2504 Office: 804.290.1017Fax: 609.633.2004 Center for Farm Transitions Fax: 804.290.1099Contact: David Kimmel, Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture Contact: Brock Herzberg,david.kimmel@ag.state.nj.us 2301 North Cameron Street brock.herzberg@vafb.comwww.state.nj.us/agriculture/sadc/ Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408 www.vafb.com farmlink.htm Toll-free: 877-475-2686 and www.savefarms.com Contact: D. Robert DavidsonNew York Email: ddavidso@state.pa.us WashingtonNY FarmLink www.iplantofarm.com Washington FarmLinkc/o NY FarmNet Cascade Harvest Coalition415 Warren Hall Rhode Island 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North,Ithaca, NY 14853 New England Land Link Room 123800-547-FARM P.O. Box 608 Seattle, WA 98103E-mail: info@farmlink.org Belchertown, MA 01007 Office: 206.632.0606www.nyfarmlink.org Office: 413.323.4531 Fax: 206.632.1080 Fax: 413.323.9594 Contact: Mary EmbletonOhio Contact: Eric Toensmeier E-mail: mary@oz.netThe Farmland Center, a program E-mail: landlink@smallfarm.org www.cascadeharvest.org/programs/of the Countryside Conservancy www.smallfarm.org washington-farmlink2179 Everett Road and www.cascadeharvest.orgPeninsula, Ohio 44264 Vermont330.657.2538 Land Link Vermont Wisconsinbeth@thefarmlandcenter.org Center for Sustainable Agriculture Wisconsin Farm Centerwww.thefarmlandcenter.org Office: 802.656.0233 Office: 800.942.2474 orwww.cvcountryside.org Fax: 802.656.8874 608.224.5049 Contact: Deb Heleba Fax: 608.224.5107Oregon www.uvm.edu/landlinkvt Contact: Roger James,Friends of Family Farmers man- New England Land Link Roger.James@datcp.state.wi.usages ifarmoregon.org, an online P.O. Box 608 www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/database that allows the user to Belchertown, MA 01007 agriculture/farm-center/search for agricultural services, 413.323.4531; Fax: 413.323.9594 transfers/index.jspvvvvland for sale, land wanted, unique Contact: Eric Toensmeierleasing arrangements, partnership E-mail: landlink@smallfarm.orgoptions, mentoring and internship www.smallfarm.orgPage 14 ATTRA Finding Land to Farm
  • 15. Elements of a Good Lease This list is from California FarmLink 7. Use restrictions or requirements www.californiafarmlink.org How is the land to be used? Are there prohibitions or limitations on its 1. Contact information use, such as types of crops or production Be sure to include information for methods, for example? both landowner and tenant 8. Compliance with law 2. Description of leased property Most leases reiterate that the tenant must Include a map if possible. comply with all appropriate laws. 3. Length of term 9. Initial condition of premises How long is lease valid? Is the property okay as-is? Can it be renewed? Are improvements or upgrades required before or during the lease? 4. Rental amount and how it is to be paid What is the amount per term? 10. Alterations Is it as cash or share rent? Are there restrictions or allowances When is it payable? concerning changes to the property? Are there periodic increases? What changes or improvements are allowed, with and without specific permission? 5. Maintenance and repairs Who is responsible? 11. Subletting What are the monetary limits? Are there any restrictions or allowances? Is tenant allowed to lease to a third party? 6. Liability insurance and indemnification Is the tenant required to have liability 12. Dispute resolution insurance? California FarmLink suggests specifying Most landowners want to specify that that disputes should be resolved first by they’re not liable for tenant’s operation. mediation, then through binding arbitration. Kinds of Consultants You May Need 1. Real estate agents 2. Real estate attorneys 3. Cooperative extension and other agricultural business consultants 4. Accountants and CPAs 5. Lenders such as Farm Service Agency (FSA), Farm Credit System, banks, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Small Business Development Corporations (SBDCs)www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 15
  • 16. Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland By Kendra Johnson, California FarmLink Rex Dufour and Marisa Alcorta, NCAT © 2009 National Center for Appropriate Technology— NCAT Robert Armstrong, Illustrations Karen Van Epen, Production This publication is available on the Web at: www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/finding.pdf IP349, Slot 347 Version 070209Page 16 ATTRA