Good news for farmers and those who work to help advance land access issues in New England!
We’re pleased to report that over 2,060 beginning farmers improved their access to land or tenure situation across New England during the Land Access Project, Phase 2 (LAP2) grant period (September 2015 – August 2018). 209 farm seekers made more informed land access decisions from the direct consulting, coaching and information they received from LFG’s state-based field agents. At least 67 beginning farmers secured land to start or grow their operations during the project period. As well, 732 senior generation farmers were educated in 34 succession workshops, and 99 farmers advanced their succession planning with 1:1 LFG coaching; 25 of these transitioning farmers plan to transfer their farm to a beginning farmer.
In total, LFG and its collaborators delivered 144 events including stand-alone and conference workshops, mixers, and presentations. Event evaluations showed that 75% reported knowledge gains as well as satisfaction with the event.
Farmers throughout New England are making more informed land access and transfer decisions, thanks to the hard work of LAP Task Forces and collaborators.
“The discussions and materials that are being created – as well as the trained professionals and networks that are growing – have been most valuable,” shared one collaborator.
As Land For Good moves forward with LAP3, it’s a good time to reflect on the accomplishments of an amazing group of more than 40 collaborators. This project built on LFG’s prior Land Access Project, both funded by the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. In these projects, LFG’s two-pronged “theory of change” centered on enhancing direct assistance to farm seekers and improving the conditions for land access and transfer in our region.
New England is a leader in farm access, tenure and transfer, in no small measure due to the deep interest and commitment of so many collaborators. LFG extends the deepest appreciation to all who contributed to LAP2 and for your continuing work to help our farmers access and transfer farms across our region.
“The education has been invaluable on both the challenges of land transfer planning and the strategies available to create strong plans,” shared another collaborator.
We surveyed our collaborators to document our advances through LAP2. 100% of collaborators surveyed think LAP2 was effective at increasing information and training for farmers. During the project period:
- 76% worked with 3 or more groups on land access issues
- 85% provided technical assistance to farm seekers
- 82% used or shared project outputs (materials, resources, trainings, events)
- 93% accessed new tools & resources
- 96% learned innovative approaches
- 98% expanded professional networks
“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the program and the collaboration among all of the diverse participants,” shared another collaborator.
LAP2 was supported by a grant from the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (NIFA #2015-04544).