Farmers in the Finger Lakes region who need access to land, and landowners who wish to have their unused acreage farmed, now can be matched through Finger Lakes LandLink, a new project developed by Cornell Cooperative Extension South Central NY Agriculture Program and the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming in Ithaca (NY). Finger Lakes LandLink will be an online service where farmers and landowners can search either the available land or farmer database to find an appropriate match. Cornell Cooperative Extension and Groundswell will provide resources and consulting to help facilitate the matching process. The initial pilot for this project will include Tompkins, Tioga, Schuyler, Cortland, and Chemung counties.
Land owners who are interested in having their land farmed, either through leasing, selling or sharing their land with a farmer, should contact Tompkins County Cooperative Extension and attend an upcoming informational meeting. Beginning and established farmers who are seeking land to start or expand their agricultural enterprise, also are invited to get on a preliminary list of farm seekers.
The first public information meeting for landowners will be held on Thursday, November 14 at 7:00 PM at Tompkins County Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Avenue (off Rt. 13 at Dey and Lincoln Streets) in Ithaca. At this meeting, landowners will learn about options for using their land, leasing arrangements, and the benefits of working with farmers to gain potential property tax breaks, along with the benefits of having someone utilize land for farming and food production. Meetings for other pilot counties are planned for spring 2014.
Landowners or farmers interested in the Finger Lakes LandLink project should contact: Ian Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Monika Roth (607-272-2292, email@example.com) at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.