Land Access Innovations Trainings
FOR LAND TRUSTS
Mills River, North Carolina – March 8, 2017
This all-day training is intended for land trust staff and other regional conservation professionals who are involved in farmland protection projects and committed to supporting farmers.
Attendees will learn about the innovative tools and strategies being used by land trusts around the country to keep farmland affordable and accessible to farmers. The training will feature presentations on farmers’ land access needs and challenges, affordability provisions in easements, ground leases, legal considerations, funding, and more.
Burlington, Vermont – April 26-27, 2017
The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) and NYFC are teaming up to offer a free two-day intensive training on working farmland conservation and farmland access. The training will offer approximately 30 land trust staff and conservation professionals from across the country an opportunity to explore the details of VLT’s Land Access Program and working farmland conservation strategies.
The training begins 8:00am Wednesday April 26th, and ends at 2:00pm on Thursday April 27th. Meals during the training will be provided free of charge. The training will feature presentations from Vermont Land Trust staff and other land access experts, as well as a choice of field trip to one of two local farms.
Space is limited – apply now to attend. APPLICATIONS CLOSE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10th, 2017. Applicants will be notified of a decision by the following week.
Alexander, North Carolina – March 9, 2017
This free, full-day training is being offered by the National Young Farmers Coalition in collaboration with WNC Farmlink and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. The workshop is designed to provide beginning farmers with an overview of the partners, resources, and strategies involved in finding secure access to farmland. The training will include a farm tour of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy incubator property followed by a farmer mixer.
The training will feature presentations from multiple land access experts on: finding and evaluating land; land tenure models and options; partnering with land trusts; accessing and evaluating credit and capital; and, legal considerations, including writing strong lease agreements.
Join us for a young farmer mixer following the training!
Land Trust Trainings
NYFC’s Land Access Innovations Trainings are full-day, in-person workshops designed for land trust staff and other conservation professionals with a high degree of commitment to protecting working farms and keeping land affordable for farmers.
These trainings provide an opportunity for participants to learn from a small group of mentors – such as land trust staff, lawyers, and appraisers – about innovative strategies and tools being used to ensure farmland stays in production and in the hands of farmers. Along with presentations from experts, trainings include ample time for discussion and input from participants to facilitate collaborative learning.
Following each training, all participants have access to our Dropbox folder of resources along with our Land Access Innovations listserv – an email discussion group we facilitate to connect organizations and individuals that are implementing working farmland conservation projects. The Dropbox and listerv provide access to information on funding strategies; monitoring and enforcement; legal considerations; and model documents on working farm easements and ground leases.
In addition to our trainings for land trusts, NYFC works with local partners to offer trainings for farmers on the process of partnering with a land trust to access land. These trainings are based on the information provided in our guidebook for farmers and feature presentations on aspects of accessing land such as land trust partnership, writing strong lease agreements, and financing.
For upcoming trainings, check out our events page. For more information on holding a Land Access Innovations Training (for land trusts or farmers) in your region, joining our Land Access Innovations listserv, accessing model documents and resources on this topic, or getting connected to our past presenters, email our Land Access Program Director.
For Land Trusts
Providence, Rhode Island – September 21, 2014 [National Training]
Sacramento, California – October 11, 2015 [National Training]
Denver, Colorado – March 16, 2016 [Regional Training]
Grand Rapids, Michigan – May 19, 2016 [Regional Training]
Hudson, New York – March 16, 2015
Placerville, California – October 7, 2015
Gunnison, Colorado – March 11-12, 2016
LAND TRUST TRAINING PRESENTERS
Lead Mentor | Equity Trust is a national organization devoted to helping farmers achieve long-term and affordable access to farmland. Since the mid-1990s, Equity Trust has been a pioneer both in developing tools for addressing this need and in educating the land trust community about the issue. With a mission to “change the way people think about and hold property,” they have worked with the land trust and farmer communities to create some of the most innovative affordable farm partnerships in the country. In 2014, Equity Trust launched an exciting regional program to promote and finance farm affordability in the Hudson Valley of New York State. Learn more at equitytrust.org.
Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) protects Marin County farmland for agricultural use through agricultural conservation easements. Since its founding in 1980, MALT has protected more than 47,000 acres on 75 family farms and ranches. Since 2011, all MALT easements have contained affirmative agricultural use provisions requiring ongoing productive agricultural use. Starting in 2014, MALT began working with landowners to add these protections, on a voluntary basis, to older easements. These easement provisions will ensure that land protected for agricultural use will always be actively used for farming and ranching. For more information, visit malt.org.
The Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust has been protecting land in a 23-town region in north central and western Massachusetts since 1986. Under their Campaign for Affordable Farms Project the land trust is partnering with Red Fire Farm to share ownership of the farm and manage it as a community resource. They have completed an easement project that incorporates OPAV and uses federal FRPP funding.
PCC Farmland Trust was founded in 1999 to secure, preserve and steward threatened farmland in the Northwest, ensuring that generations of local farmers productively farm using sustainable, organic growing methods. PCC Farmland Trust’s preservation work spans Washington state and the land trust has experience implementing easements that require commercial food, forage, or fiber production to take place on conserved farms. They have also worked to help facilitate the transfer of farms to beginning farmers by placing a conservation easement on the property.
The Peconic Land Trust was established in 1983 to protect Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since then, the land trust has protected nearly 11,000 acres of land. In the face of astronomical land prices on Long Island (over $100,000 per acre in some cases), PLT has begun incorporating maximum resale price restrictions into their easements and including a provision that requires sale to a qualified farmer. If no farmer is identified, PLT is mandated to purchase the properties at agricultural value. PLT also has experience holding and leasing farmland through their Farm Incubator Program (part of their Farms for the Future Initiative). They are currently working on a project in partnership with a town that would be the first publicly-funded easement with affordability mechanisms in New York State.
South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) is based in Olympia, WA, and dedicated to preserving farmland and to keeping it farmed forever. SSCFLT’s mission is to promote vibrant local food and farming systems through community supported farmland preservation strategies, educational outreach, and partnerships that increase opportunities for farms and farmers to flourish. Using the Community Land Trust Model, SSCFLT secures fee title to farmland. The land is then leased to farmers with 99-year Agricultural Ground Leases that include limited equity provisions. Farmers are assured secure land tenure, and the land, with Land Trust oversight, remains in active farming forever. SSCFLT acquired its first farm in 2013. Scatter Creek Farm & Conservancy consists of 48 acres of dedicated wildlife habitat and over 100 acres of prime farmland, and is already home to several farm enterprises and a farmer incubator program. Learn more at communityfarmlandtrust.org.
The Vermont Land Trust has been protecting land in Vermont since 1977 and has conserved more than 1,775 parcels of land covering more than 535,000 acres. This conserved land includes more than 775 working farms, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forestland, and numerous parcels of community land. VLT has incorporated OPAV into all of their acquired farmland easements since 2003 and has extensive experience using this mechanism. They have defended the use of OPAVs in court and used federal funding through the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (now the Agricultural Land Easements Program) to complete transactions. Learn more at vlt.org.
Jim Waterhouse, ARA, Farm Credit East
Kendra Johnson Katz has spent the last decade working with beginning farmers, retiring farmers/landowners, and the land conservation community toward a healthy and sustainable transition of farm land to the next generation. She has presented at many workshops and trainings on land access, farm succession planning, and innovative farmland conservation and affordability tools, including the national Land Trust Alliance Rally and joint workshops with many land trusts. She currently works with California FarmLink, One Farm at a Time (a fundraising organization for local small farm preservation), Agrarian Trust and other groups, with the simple goal of keeping farmers securely on land. She lives on a creek above the Russian River with her family, growing three small children and an abundant garden.