House farm bill makes key land access investments, but misses big opportunities

NYFC policy staff continues to dig into the House farm bill, H.R. 2. Read our previous posts on the overall analysis of the bill, as well as its potential impact for young farmers in the West. Across the country, climbing land prices have made it increasingly difficult for farmers to afford land. The challenge of land access for young farmers is so widespread and acute, in fact, that NYFC has an entire team dedicated to it. The farm bill, reauthorized... Read More

Finding Farmland: Upgrade Released

If you have been using NYFC’s Finding Farmland site, get ready for a big upgrade to the Land Affordability Calculator. And if you haven’t—try out the new version now! A decision-making tool designed specifically for farmers seeking land, the Finding Farmland Calculator makes it easy for farmers to understand and compare farm financing options, determine what they can afford, and prepare to work with a loan officer. Since our beta release in... Read More

Finding and Funding Your Farm

By Michael Durante, Land Access Program Associate A thin line separates opportunity from crisis in America’s agricultural economy. Farmers over the age of 65 now outnumber farmers under 35 by a margin of six to one, and U.S. farmland is overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of older farmers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), nearly two-thirds of farmland is currently managed by someone over 55. Yet young Americans continue... Read More

Announcing NYFC’s Land Affordability Calculator

  findingfarmland.youngfarmers.org   Fall is when farm work, done under the glow of the sun, gives way to farm planning under the glow of a computer screen. If your farm planning includes a search for—or even just a dream of—land of your own, NYFC has a tool for you. This fall, NYFC launched Finding Farmland, a website designed to help farmers and ranchers across the country make informed financial decisions during the process of accessing... Read More

12 farmers, 44 meetings, 1 day

In the first week of June, with the 2018 farm bill already in motion, twelve young farmers flew to D.C. to tell Congress we need a farm bill that invests in our future. They discussed land access, student loans, health care and more. We held 44 meetings in one day and left D.C. feeling confident that young farmer interests will be included in the next farm bill. June is one of the hardest times of the year to leave the farm, and we’re so... Read More

Vermont Land Access Innovations Training

Participants in VLT and NYFC’s two-day Land Access Innovations Training in Burlington, VT. In April, the National Young Farmers Coalition and the Vermont Land Trust teamed up to host a two-day Land Access Innovations Training in Vermont. The training brought together staff from 26 land trusts, state agencies, foundations, and other organizations across 10 states to discuss tools and strategies for protecting working farmland and helping the... Read More

Balancing work with work: On day jobs and land hunts

By Stacia Cannon, Topp Fruit The juvenile plums were a pale, unappetizing green. Then, almost overnight, the trees were adorned with rich purple, speckled fruit. Naked and new, the plums continue to swell and gain even darker, more brilliant hues. In the orchard and elsewhere it has been a very fruitful year, replete with many successes, but also persistent, grinding challenges. Balancing an off-farm job with the often unpredictable needs of the... Read More

Land access innovation at Temple Wilton Community Farm

Lincoln Geiger and Anthony Graham, who are two of the original three founding farmers and continue to be full-time farmers leading the dairy (Lincoln) and vegetable (Anthony) operations. By Holly Rippon-Butler, Land Access Program Director My last post described the range of challenges farmers are facing when it comes to land access, and I suggested broad solutions, like working with a land trust and fostering community support. In this post, I want... Read More

Lessons in land access

By Holly Rippon-Butler, Land Access Program Director Forgive me if we’ve met in the past three months and I don’t remember your name—I’ve been on a bit of a whirlwind tour, talking about land access, hosting workshops, and listening to concerns from young farmers and ranchers. At the end of February I made my way from upstate New York to La Crosse, Wisconsin for the annual MOSES conference. In March, I had the opportunity to spend a week... Read More

Planning for the short-term– BOOTSTRAP AT FURROW HORSE FARM

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  Before I dive into this post, the farm has a big announcement: We now have our first team of draft horses! Lady and Abby, two Belgian mares from Sandpoint, Idaho, were delivered to us a few weeks ago. So far they are doing great, and we have already used them in the garden to harrow in our cover crop. We are so excited to finally have them here and realize our dream of owning our own team. Now we can truly start... Read More

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