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Real Estate Professional Training

Tools & Resources for Working with Farms with Commercial Agricultural Potential

Real estate professionals play an important role in the marketing of farm properties. We offer training for real estate professionals to increase their awareness and access to resources so they can better connect with commercial farm buyers, and improve the conditions under which many aspiring, beginning and established farmers seek land.

There are many ways that farm buyers and sellers connect,” says Shemariah Blum-Evitts, LFG’s Program Director. “Licensed real estate agents definitely play a role in farm purchase and sales.”

Many real estate professionals have a sincere interest in seeing working farms stay in production, but they need insights and guidance about how to market farms or farmland with commercial potential. Farm seekers are growing more sophisticated, and a primary tool that many farm seekers use in their farm search is the MLS and other real estate listings. But commercial farm buyers differ from other rural property buyers in some unique ways.

Land For Good offers the course Tools and Resources for Working with Farms with Commercial Agricultural Potential periodically at sites around our New England service area. Continuing Education credits are available in some states. See the Agenda and Course Description, or contact us to learn more or propose a workshop for your area.

This training helps real estate licensees identify characteristics of the commercial farm buyer — plus how to reach them — identify and describe property characteristics important to the commercial farm buyer, introduce legal and tax issues of specific relevance to farms, identify farm financing options, and outline conservation easements and issues which need to be considered when selling farms that have existing conservation easements.

LFG has compiled the resources below to help real estate professionals better understand and serve commercial farm buyers.

Listing and Linking Websites

New England Farmland Finder
Maine Farmlink
Vermont Land Link
Connecticut Farmlink
Guide:  How To Create Effective Online Property Postings for Farm Link Websites

Farm Property Evaluation Tools/Checklists

Farm Evaluation Checklist by Land For Good
Farm Rental Assessment Checklist by Intervale Center, UVM Extension, SARE
Conservation Land For Sale Checklist by Upper Valley Land Trust

Mapping & Soils

USDA Web Soil Survey
Tutorial on USDA Web Soil Survey
UC Davis Soil Web 
Tutorial on UC Davis Soil Web
Google Maps Area Calculator
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Massachusetts: OLIVER – The MassGIS Online Data Viewer
New Hampshire: Granite View
Tutorial on NH Granit View II
Vermont: Natural Resource Atlas
Tutorial on VT Natural Resource Atlas   

Current Use Property Tax

Maine:
Property Tax Bulletin No. 20, Farmland Tax Law
Application for Farmland Classification 
Property Tax Bulletin No. 21, Open Space Tax Law 
Application for Open Space Land Classification
Property Tax Bulletin No. 19, Maine Tree Growth Tax Law
Application for Maine Tree Growth Tax Law Program
Massachusetts:
Chapter 61 Programs
Forest Tax Program Chapter 61
Ag. Tax Program Chapter 61A
Rec. Tax Program Chapter 61B
Chapter 61, 61A, & 61B Application
Vermont:  Understanding Current Use
New Hampshire: Overview of Current Use

Legal Guides to Farming/What is Farming under the Law?

New Hampshire: Local Regulation of Agriculture Toolkit 
Vermont: A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont 

Organic Certification, Organic Status

USDA – National Organic Program
Baystate Organic Certifiers
Maine: MOFGA Certification Services
Massachusetts: Northeast Organic Farming Association
New Hampshire: Organic Certification Program
Vermont: Certification Program

Land Trusts (for assistance with Conservation Easement/Restrictions)

Maine:
Maine Farmland Trust 
Maine Land Trust Network
Massachusetts:
The Forever Farmland Initiative
Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition
Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program
New Hampshire:
NH Land Trust Coalition
Vermont:
Vermont Land Trust
Upper Valley Land Trust

Conservation Easement/Restriction Information

What is a Conservation Easement by Maine Farmland Trust
Steps in the Conservation Easement Process by Maine Farmland Trust
Agricultural Conservation Easements FAQs by Maine Farmland Trust
Purchased Easements-More FAQs by Maine Farmland Trust
Donated Easements FAQs by Maine Farmland Trust
Donated Easements-Who pays for what by Maine Farmland Trust
Technical Bulletin CE Stewardship by Maine Farmland Trust
An Introduction to Conservation Easements by SELT
Benefits of Farmland Conservation by Upper Valley Land Trust
Selecting a Conservation Strategy by Upper Valley Land Trust
Conservation Easement FAQs by Upper Valley Land Trust
Synopsis of a Conservation Easement Deed by Upper Valley Land Trust
Tax Benefits: Enhanced Federal Incentives for Land Conservation by Upper Valley Land Trust
Selling a Farm with a Conservation Easement that Includes an Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV) by Vermont Land Trust
An Example of a Sale of a Farm Restricted by an Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV) by Vermont Land Trust

Agricultural Lenders

USDA Farm Service Agency
Farm Credit East
The Carrot Project

Resources for Leasing Farmland

LFG Leasing Toolbox 
Landowners Guide to Leasing to a Farmer Handbook

 

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