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Improving farm link programs to connect more beginning farmers & farmland owners

As a leader on farmland access and transfer issues, we have helped inform farm link programs of all sizes. This fall Connecticut Farmland Trust and Connecticut Department of Agriculture launched an updated Connecticut Farm Link site improving how beginning farmers and farmland owners connect. Working together with Connecticut Farm Link, Maine FarmLink and Vermont Land Link across the region, forming the New England Farm Link Collaborative, we help build awareness and connections to support farm seekers, farmers and landowners of all types in all New England states. The collaborative manages New England Farmland Finder.

Beyond New England, the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) sought Land For Good’s expertise for a new farm link program and received support at our National Farm Link Clinic (April 2019).

The National Farm Link Clinic did help as it brought the real life experience of land-link practitioners into focus in a structured way,” shared Susan Koehler, Farmland Preservation Coordinator at NWALT.

They will be launching a new farm link program this fall to serve Ozark farmland seekers and landowners. The farm link program is largely modeled after the farm link programs in New England.

Land for Good’s resources were helpful in our planning, and we appreciated the opportunity to consult with Kathy Ruhf and others to get their feedback on how we planned to address the needs of our community,” shared Susan. “We plan to showcase some of the LFG resources on our Farm-Link site.”

So many great tips and connections came out of the first-ever National Farm Link Clinic! We’ve compiled lessons and successful practices into a forthcoming guide for developing and improving farm link programs. Stay tuned!

 

The National Farm Link Clinic was sponsored in part by the Land Access Project that is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Grant # 2018-70017-28531.

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