The success of the next generation of farmers and ranchers is crucially dependant on whether they can secure suitable land to start and expand their operations. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the number of new farmers and ranchers in the United States decreased 20 percent from 2007 and hit a 30-year low. In acknowledgement of this barrier for young farmers, the American Farmland Trust have just recently announced that 24 experienced educators will serve as Land Access Trainers to help beginning farmers and ranchers secure agricultural land. This will be part of a nationwide, four-year-long project and the chosen trainers are located in each of the 10 U.S. farm production regions. The American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization that works to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land.
Agrarian Trust’s May 3rd training workshop with the NY State Agricultural Mediation Program (NYAMP), Negotiation Your Way to Land, is SOLD OUT. You can get a podcast of the program by joining the Agrarian Trust email list.
For those of you in the Hudson Valley, there are two more workshops coming up THIS weekend, hosted by the the Hudson Valley Farmlink Network (HVFN), a project of the American Farmland Trust (AFT) and a partnership of organizations dedicated to improving access to farmland for next generation farmers.
These workshops are focused on farm leasing for farmers and landowners, include farm leasing panels and networking sessions, and will take place in Ulster County and Orange County on May 4th and May 6th, respectively. The workshops will feature panel discussions with local farmers, landowners and attorneys with leasing experience and cover issues including: farm leasing basics; legal issues; farmer and landowner perspectives on what works; common mistakes to avoid; and negotiating the right farm lease for your situation. There will also be opportunities for informal networking sessions with regional farmers and landowners to explore potential matches and to further develop leasing plans.
The May 4 Ulster County workshop will be held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in the 4-H Youth Building, 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To register call 845-340-3990 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of the workshop is $5 per person and includes snacks and drinks. Pre-register by May 1.
The May 6 Orange County workshop will be held at Kaplan Hall, The Great Room at SUNY Orange Newburgh Campus, One Washington Center, Newburgh from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. To register, call 845-344-1234 or send email to: email@example.com. The cost of this workshop is $10 for an individual or $15 for a farm or family and includes snacks and drinks. Pre-register by May 2.
Funding for both workshops is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency.
For more information about these workshops and other Hudson Valley Farmlink Network projects, contact Tim Biello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 20-22, 2014
The Farmland, Food and Livable Communities conference will bring together leading experts from around the country for the first nationwide conference focused on farming, land use and food policy. It will showcase and encourage best practices and inspire efforts to protect farmland, support the next generation of farmers, encourage job creation and create opportunities in local and regional food systems.
“This is the first time a national conference will bring together these diverse interests to comprehensively address the 21st Century challenges of agriculture,” said Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust. “The conference will encourage greater understanding and collaboration to support agricultural viability and vibrant community food systems.”
Sign up HERE for more information on registration, the agenda, and other details.