Below you will find links to some of the best resources we've found around important topics related to land connections for farmers and farmland owners. Because farmer-landowner arrangements are complex and can be long-term commitments, we encourage you to do your homework advance. If you find other resources that have been especially helpful to you, we'd love to hear from you so we can share them with others.
Non-profit land trusts around the country have preserved 56 million acres of land, including extensive amounts of farmland. This excellent publication by the National Young Farmers Coalition will help a farmer understand what land trusts are and how to work with them.
Ag Lease 101’s goal is to help producers and land owners discuss and resolve issues to avoid legal risk. They also aim to guide both land renters and land owners towards informed and equitable decisions. The website provides sample leases and worksheets.
Whether you are a farmer or a landowner, this two-page reference sheet from the Farmland Information Center provides a clear, high-level overview of what agricultural conservation easements are and their legal and financial implications.
American Farmland Trust has been on the ground in New England since 1985 – working to expand support for farms and farmland from Maine to Rhode Island. It’s never been more important to protect New England's threatened farms and farmland.
Land for Good’s Build-a-Lease Tool is an educational tool that helps you learn about lease types and legal jargon, build a version of a lease agreement that fits your situation and intent, and allows you to share the output with your attorney and other consulting parties.
The Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska maintains this handy list of farmlink programs around the U.S.
Common Ground is a center for learning and leadership, inviting people across ages and identities to connect to their urban environment, build community, grow into their full potential, and contribute to a just and sustainable world.
Connecticut Ag Experiment Station develops, advances, and disseminates scientific information to improve agricultural productivity and protect the environment and human well-being.
Connecticut Farmland Trust is a statewide nonprofit organization working to protect farmland from the constant threat of development. Keeping land in farms helps to establish a local, sustainable food system, supports our economy, and contributes to improving the quality of land, air and water. Our goal is to make working lands available to Connecticut farmers for the indefinite future.
Connecticut Resource Conservation & Development Area helps you kick-start ideas, learn about related job skills, make your farm more profitable, build conservation projects, and create rural businesses.
Connecticut Small Business Administration offers a wide range of financial information and loan programs, including SBA Express Loan Program, SBA LowDoc Program, Microloan Program and Pre-Qualification Loan Program Intermediaries.
Apprenticeship program on several cooperating organic farms.
This workbook, created by Farm Commons (with input from the Savanna Institute), provides an overview of legal considerations for long-term leases involving agroforestry, including ways to account for the value of perennial crops and trees over the course of the lease. The workbook includes a checklist to help the parties understand and negotiate specific terms of their lease as well as a sample long-term lease.
CT Department of Agriculture has a number of other programs, such as the farmland restoration, farm viability, and farm transition grants.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Business Development and Assistance lists statutes, right to farm, definitions, and other basic information for farming in our state.
The CT Dept of Economic & Community Development Programs and Services devises and implements strategies that help businesses grow and succeed in a rapidly-changing economy.
A useful overview of the topic by ChangeLab Solutions, although it is mostly focused on publicly owned land in urban areas that could be used by farmer or for community gardens.
Farm Credit East is a cooperative dedicated to serving the financial needs of farmers, country home owners, and those in other agricultural related fields.
Farm Credit East supports those who choose agriculture as a career by providing innovative products and services that contribute to their growth and success. Programs for new farmers include not only loans, but also business training, tax preparation, consulting, and other services.
Build your own draft lease with a free online tool from the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at the Vermont Law School.
The National Young Farmers Coalition presents the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loans Guidebook which explains the ins and outs of federal loans.
This concise document by Land for Good and Equity Trust outlines issues and things to think about that are unique to urban farming. A good place to start your research.
The goal of the Farmland Access Legal Toolkit is to provide a helpful resource for farmers who need land in order to farm, and for farmers who want to transition their land to another farmer, as part of their estate planning or for other reasons. This resource is designed so that farmers can be better prepared to talk to an attorney about their individual situation. An improved understanding of the legal options described in this toolkit can help farmers create realistic farm transfer or acquisition goals before consulting with an attorney. This makes time with an attorney more efficient, less expensive (because lawyers often charge by the hour), and more likely to lead to a positive outcome for farmers.
Farmland for a New Generation New York helps farmers seeking land and landowners wanting to keep their land in farming. On this website, you can register to post a farmer or a farm property profile, search for farmers or search for farmland, learn about upcoming events, browse resources, and contact organizations throughout New York State.
The American Farmland Trust presents the Farmland Information Center, which tackles issues like access to land and capital.
Agriculture is one of Connecticut's most vital economic sectors, and at its heart is the state's extraordinary farmland. The Department of Agriculture preserves working lands by acquiring development rights to agricultural properties through its Farmland Preservation Program, ensuring that the land remains available only for agricultural use in perpetuity.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) Finding Farmland Calculator helps you build scenarios for purchasing farmland. There is FAQ page available with a walk-through video and multiple other resources.
Another program by the NYFC is the Finding Farmland Course which offers a series of lessons that will prepare you to confidently approach the financial decisions related to acquiring your first farm.
An educational center at Hilltop Farm where everyone benefits from the lessons of the land and its beauty. Grow with us as we rehabilitate structures and bring this historic farm back into production with crops, animals, conservation areas and experiential learning opportunities.
Growing New Farmers has a regional searchable directory of resources and programs for new farmers, including access to land, credit, information, and markets. Includes Frequently-Asked-Farmer-Questions, publications and other resources.
The Hudson Valley Farmlink Network is a partnership of 17 organizations, coordinated by American Farmland Trust, offering the Hudson Valley Farmland Finder website, training and networking events, and one-on-one assistance for farmers and landowners. The Hudson Valley Farmlink Network serves 13 counties: Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Sullivan, Ulster, Washington, and Westchester.
A small farm incubator program that leases land, greenhouses, and equipment to new farmers who set up small organic farm enterprises on Intervale land.
Iowa’s Agricultural Marketing Resource Center has a series of web pages with documents on how to start an agricultural business and the planning process.
Through innovation, education, advocacy and consulting LFG is transforming how farmers get on to, hold, and transfer farmland in New England and beyond.
Legal Food Hub is a free legal services clearinghouse for farmers and food producers.
A marketplace for buyers and sellers of used farm equipment.
A program of MAINE FARMLAND TRUST, is a linking service that helps connect people who are seeking farmland, with farmland owners (or their representatives) who are looking to sell, lease or work out non-traditional tenure arrangements, based on their respective interests, needs and goals.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association connects people wanting to learn organic farming with experienced farmers willing to share their expertise.
National Farm Transition Network is a network of service providers working with farm businesses on successful transition to identified successors.
America Farmland Trust has a new grant available. NEFMP is designed to provide between $500 - $5,000 to assist farmers in New England with financial barriers to land access, expanding onto new land and farm succession planning. The goal of NEFMP is to fund farmers in two primary categories: professional services and infrastructure costs related to assuring agricultural land is in production. Applications will be accepted beginning March 1, 2020 and will continue on a rolling basis until all available funding is distributed
New England Farmland Finder makes it easy for farm properties to be posted, and for farm seekers to search through them. It is free, simple, region-wide, automated and constantly current, serving as a friendly portal for property holders and farmland seekers.
An apprenticeship placement service.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (Tufts University with farms in Dracut and other towns): Trains immigrant and refugee farmers in agriculture with an 18 week program. At the end of 18 weeks, the farmers should have in hand a production plan, business plan, and marketing plan, and be ready to farm on a small scale at the incubator farm. At the end of 3 years, the project helps the new farmer get established on other land (generally rented from local farmers).
Key Resources for New and Beginning Farms in Connecticut
This land access website is designed to help farmers and landowners connect through a database of farmland available, farming opportunities sought, and land characteristics and production goals. Use the map and listings to help you find the opportunity you've been looking for!
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) ensures the growth and viability of organic food and land systems in CT.
Started as an urban gardening program with the Puerto Rican community. Now includes an incubator farm, Tierra de Oportunidades, as well as a community kitchen, bakery, restaurant, youth program, etc.
Penn State has a great website on agricultural marketing information.
Pennsylvania Farm Link is a non-profit organization dedicated to “linking farmers to the future”. PFL accomplishes their mission two ways, through an online database and by offering educational workshops for landowners and beginning farmers.
Register the name of your business with the Connecticut Secretary of State.
Here you can find out how to obtain a Sales and Use Tax ID and Farmer Tax Exemption Permit from the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.
Hands-on training and technical assistance is designed for both beginning vegetable and livestock farmers. Participating farmers are eligible to lease available SCLT land and to sell through SCLT market channels.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture provides programs, apprenticeships, and funding to help grow the movement towards resilient, sustainable, and regenerative agriculture
Mimi Arnstein shares her experience farming at the Wellspring Farm Land Cooperative in Marshfield, Vermont. This was written for Land for Good and has some useful lessons on this alternative approach to land access.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) promotes grants and education to advance innovations in sustainable agriculture.
A community farm that involves, educates and inspires children so that they will care where food comes from and thus make the right choices with respect to their health and our environment.
For over 13 years, The Carrot Project has worked with farm and food businesses in New England and the Hudson Valley, supporting their successes by helping them build the financial management skills to help their businesses thrive.
The Farm Transfer Network of New England is a group of organizations and professionals offering help in the farm transfer process.
The Trust for Public Land works to protect the places people care about and to create close-to-home parks—particularly in and near cities, where 80 percent of Americans live. Our goal is to ensure that every child has easy access to a safe place to play in nature. We also conserve working farms, ranches, and forests; lands of historical and cultural importance; rivers, streams, coasts, and watersheds; and other special places where people can experience nature close at hand.
UConn Extension is on a collaborative journey. We co-create knowledge with farmers, families, students, communities, and businesses. We educate. We convene diverse groups to help solve problems in the areas of food, health, and sustainability.
UCONN-CANHR- Sustainable Food Systems hosts several programs to help build a sustainable food system that can supply fresh, healthy, local food to residents.
University of Illinois-Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics- College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences has created FAST (Farm Analysis Solution Tools). Find a whole set of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that assist agricultural decisions on your computer. FAST aids users with cash flow, rent versus buy option, financial analysis, and evaluating the impacts of farm business decisions.
The US Dept of Commerce Small Business Administration (the SBA) Counseling & Training has helpful programs for businesses.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has many programs and offices to help you market your products.
USDA's National Agricultural Library is one of the world’s largest collections devoted to agriculture.
USDA’s New Farmers Website helps you access the support and tools you need to begin or carry on your farming journey.
USDA’s Rural Development promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.
Since 1990, University of Vermont Extension and its partners have been offering the Transferring the Farm workshop at sites throughout New England. More than 1300 farmers and service providers have attended these 40+ workshops. To reach additional farm families who have not yet been able to attend the workshop and as a refresher to those that have, we have developed this virtual workshop! Each section of the virtual workshop includes some basic information on the topic addressed, a video clip(s), and/or further resources.
This site makes it easy for properties to be posted, and for farm seekers to search for them. The site’s format is similar to for sale by owner sites or classified listings. Because Vermont Land Link is free, simple, state-wide, automated and constantly current, it can serve as a friendly portal for Vermont property holders and farmland seekers.
Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information.