Land Access Innovations Training: Affordable Farmland Protection Strategies

This in-depth, two-day training is intended for land conservation staff and other regional professionals who are committed to creating affordable, secure land access opportunities and supporting viable farm businesses through working farmland protection. We encourage transaction and stewardship staff; board members; Soil & Water Conservation District staff; appraisers; lawyers; and more to attend.

Attendees will learn from a small group of experts – including Equity Trust, 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.

Specific topics covered include the Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value, ground leases, funding strategies, monitoring and enforcement, and legal considerations. Along with presentations, the training also provides participants with time to network with their peers, hear about model projects, and discuss region-specific considerations and challenges. 

The training will include a field trip to the Headwaters Farm Incubator and an in-depth appraisal field walk with appraiser Tom Morgan. 

The training includes breakfast and lunch both days. A limited number of rooms are available at the McMenamins Edgefield hotel through a room block held until August 18th – details will be emailed with registration confirmation.


DAY 1. Strategies & Tools for Affordable Farmland Protection
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 | 9:30am – 6:00pm

  • Day 1 will feature presentations from Equity Trust, NYFC, and other  experts and land conservation staff on farmland conservation strategies, including OPAV easements; ground leases; legal considerations; other strategies to assist farmers and promote farm viability; and, securing funding for this work. 

  • Presentations will include time for discussion and breakout conversations around topics such as Oregon and Washington-specific needs, policy, and more. A portion of time in the evening will be set aside for participants to share stories and discuss best practices around working farmland protection. 

DAY 2. Farm Viability + Field Trip + Appraisal Field Walk
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 | 8:30am – 4:30pm

  • Day 2 of the training will focus on farmer needs and challenges. This day will feature morning presentations on assessing farm business plans and encouraging farm viability. This will be followed by a field trip to the nearby East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District Headwaters Farm Incubator, where participants will hear from a panel of farmers. Incubator staff will discuss program administration and lead tours on the ecological and farmland access aspects of the property. 

  • After the farm tours, Tom Morgan will lead a field walk to discuss valuation and appraisal considerations of working farmland easements with participants, using the Incubator property as a case study. 

Since 2014, NYFC has trained staff from over 100 land trusts around the country through our Land Access Innovations Trainings. Read more about our work:

Thank you to the numerous staff from local partners who have been a part of the planning process for this training: Washington Association of Land Trusts, Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, Rogue Farm Corps, Equity Trust, The Vermont Land Trust, The Conservation Fund, Cloud Mountain Farm Center, American Farmland Trust, Jefferson Land Trust, PCC Farmland Trust, The Nature Conservancy, North Olympic Land Trust, Pinchot Institute, Greenbelt Land Trust and the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District.

Thank you to the Cedar Tree Foundation and UNFI Foundation for supporting this training. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or partner of this training or our land access work in general, please email NYFC’s land access program director holly[at]

Join our email list to receive critical actions, resources, and updates.