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.
How to Create a Profile on CT FarmLink
Check out this Youtube video of how to create a farm profile on CT FarmLink. It will walk you through the needed steps and give you some helpful tips!
Check out this youtube video of how to create a farmer profile on CT FarmLink. It will walk you through the needed steps and give you some helpful tips!
New Farmer, Start Here
This list includes the most important of the resources that we recommend new farmers familiarize themselves with before reaching out to landowners on Farmlink. Each list item if clicked will take you directly to the resource.
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.
Key Resources for New and Beginning Farms in Connecticut
Solid Ground Farmer Trainings are a program of UConn CAHNR Extension. Check out their website here to see what trainings are upcoming for beginning farmers.
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.
Farm Owner Resources
This list includes the most important of the resources that we recommend all landowners familiarize themselves with before reaching out to farmers on Farmlink. Each list item if clicked will take you directly to the resource.
Public Act 490 is Connecticut's law that allows your farm, forest, or open space land to be assessed at its use value rather than its fair market or highest and best use value (as determined by the property's most recent "fair market value" revaluation) for purposes of local property taxation.
Grants and Project Funding
Our Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps you build on your existing conservation efforts while strengthening your operation. Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop resiliency, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals. We can help you identify natural resource problems in your operation and provide technical and financial assistance to solve those problems or attain higher stewardship levels in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner.
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announced the availability of funds through the Dairy Marketing and Branding Services Grant Program, which provides grants for established value-added dairy processors to access professional marketing and branding services to elevate their businesses. Projects funded through this program will focus on access to professional services in order to implement marketing tactics, brand improvements, and overall strategy.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and non-industrial forest managers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved or created wildlife habitat, and mitigation against drought and increasing weather volatility.
The US federal government wants to help farmers access loans through the Farm Service Agency, but you’d never know it from the complexity of navigating the system. The content and thoughtful design of this superb guidebook from the National Young Farmers Coalition will make the FSA much more understandable.
Farm Transition grants funds are made to farmers and agricultural cooperatives for diversification of existing farm operations, transitioning to value-added agricultural production and sales, and developing farmers' markets and other venues in which a majority of products sold are grown in the state.
The FVG is a matching grant program for Connecticut municipalities, groups of municipalities, regional councils of governments, and agricultural non-profit organizations for projects that directly impact and/or foster agricultural viability. FVG funds projects which directly respond to problems, interests, or needs in the state’s agricultural industry, specifically in the following areas: Urban agriculture, Food systems, Diversity, equity, and inclusion in Connecticut agriculture and Farmland access.
The Farmland Restoration Grant (FLRG) provides matching funds to Connecticut farmers, nonprofits and municipalities to increase food and fiber production in the state by restoring lands into active agricultural production. FLRP focuses on restoring and improving land with prime and important farmland soils, in accordance with a Farmland Restoration Program Plan (FLRP Plan). The maximum grant awarded is $20,000.00.
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
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 Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.
Buying and Leasing Land
The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) helps agricultural producers manage financial risk through diversification, marketing or natural resource conservation practices. NRCS administers the conservation provisions while Agricultural Marketing Service and Risk Management Agency implement the production diversification and marketing provisions.
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.
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.
Evaluating Land Resources
Here is a link to information about soil testing instructions and locations in Connecticut.
The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location.
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.
Through innovation, education, advocacy and consulting LFG is transforming how farmers get on to, hold, and transfer farmland in New England and beyond.