Our Good Work, Fall/Winter 2018
With the land blanketed in snow, some farmers can now turn their energy to other tasks. While we're thankful for a busy growing season, the winter months offer advocates and service providers like us more opportunities to connect with farmers. This reminds us how fortunate we are to be part of their journeys of getting on the land and securing their farms' long term futures. 

Sustaining farms and creating farming opportunity depends on secure access to land. Read about the good work you and other generous supporters make possible:
The future of farming - and all the benefits it provides us - depends on farmers' ability to access land to start, grow and transfer their farms to other farmers. Please do your part for our region's farmers, working farmland and food system by making a year-end donation. Every gift counts! Watch for our mail and online appeals or give securely online now at landforgood.org/donate

With gratitude,  

Jim Habana Hafner
Executive Director
patch-farmPatch Farm's exciting journey to land ownership

Photo credit: Patch Farm
Meet BrennaMae and Brandon of Patch Farm (Maine). Their journey is coming full circle this winter.  They knew that finding a suitable farm property was just the beginning. Gaining secure tenure to make this farm their own would take patience, compromise and support so they reached out to Land For Good.

"Without the guidance of Land For Good, I'm not sure we could have had the confidence to continually approach our landlord until we found a way to buy the land," says BrennaMae.

Five years ago they started down a path to farm ownership with a lease-to-own agreement on their dream farm.  High-tunnels now dot the landscape, bountiful vegetables and fruits burst forth, and grazing animals rotate through fields to restore the soil's fertility.  And they just finalized a farm purchase loan from the USDA Farm Service Agency - securing the farm long-term for their family and community!     

succession-school3-Day Farm Succession School deadline extended to Dec. 5

Transitioning farmers made huge strides toward completing their transfer plans at last year's Farm Succession School.
Is it time to think about the future of your farm? Farm Succession Schools are returning to NH & RI this winter. If you're like most farmers you know that succession planning is important, but that it's easy to put off. A commitment of just three winter days will allow you to develop a concrete succession plan for your farm business, your land and your future.

Space still available! Get help with goal setting, estate planning, retirement budgeting, legal and tax issues, communications, bringing on a successor and so much more. In this unique course, class exercises and discussions are combined with between-session homework. 

RI Farm Succession School begins Dec. 11:
More info or Register now!

NH Farm Succession School begins Dec. 12:

More info or Register now!  

The deadline to register has been extended to Dec. 5. Open to all New England farmers!  Read what farmers have to say about the school

"It is important to discuss and communicate and keep working on it. You are always changing - do not let family dynamics, fear and anxiety keep you from work on YOUR plan!" said one participant.

"It is a big relief to me! Thanks for the push to get it done! The course was well worthwhile. Thank you for your good work!" shared another.
build-a-leaseNew! Build-A-Lease Tool provides help crafting a farm lease

Photo credit: Patch Farm
A well-written lease has a solid legal foundation and reflects the interests and goals of both parties. LFG's new, interactive Build-A-Lease Tool can help you learn about farm leases - and craft a working document to use with landowners, tenants or advisors. 

Tool users can learn while also building an individualized working lease document. The Tool generates lease language  to download, email, or save for later.

Informed by LFG's work with New England farmers, landowners and service providers - and with help from a team of experienced attorneys - the Tool is designed to educate all parties and support the development of sound lease agreements. Get started today! Login at landforgood.org/build-a-lease.

Outputs are intended for use as a working document to aid in discussions with landowners, farming tenants and advisors. They are not a legal document nor should they replace legal advice from an attorney. 

lap2-toolsTools for urban land access & making farm access decisions

Download these new guides and tools for free at landforgood.org/news.

New! Farm Access Methods guide
What are the ways I can access farmland? Which will work best for me? The Farm Access Methods guide assesses each access method along key dimensions such as affordability, flexibility and security, and "scores" it along a continuum of rights. The guide helps farmers make more informed land access decisions that reflect their goals and values. The framework for exploring options and trade-offs is useful for farmers, service providers, and landowners.

Urban land access
Compared to rural areas, farming in urban settings pose some distinct land access challenges. Our new guidebook, Farmland Access in Urban Settings, addresses distinct aspects of securing land to farm in urban settings, such as issues related to location, cost, security, infrastructure and regulations. Combining practical suggestions, examples and models, this guide can help an increasingly diverse cohort of new farmers launch and sustain commercially viable urban farms. 

Both guides were produced within the Tenure Innovations Task Force of LAP2, which received core support from the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (NIFA #2015-04544).

Land Access Project (LAP) Phase 2 wraps up with Phase 3 to follow!

Retiring farmers, Mark & Jeannette Fellows, & new owners, Ben (pictured above) & Laura Wells-Tolley, all worked with Land For Good in the transfer of Chase Hill Farm (MA). Read their story
While Phase 2 of LAP came to a close in August, the project's overall three-year impact is still being tallied. Among its many outcomes was the training and support of thousands of farm seekers. Over 1,000 farm seekers gained knowledge from over 144 trainings and other events organized and/or hosted by LFG and collaborators across New England. 

LFG also finalized a $600,000 USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) grant award to support LAP, Phase 3 (LAP3). LAP3 will provide more educational and technical assistance to farm seekers and transitioning farmers, while continuing to improve collaboration and infrastructure to increase land access and farm transfer in our region.

impact2018 successes - YOUR support has impact

Abby Sadauckas, our new Maine Field Agent, pictured with fiance Jake Galle, on their farm, Apple Creek Farm (Maine) Photo credit: Kristin Dillon and Blue Horse Photography
Thanks to the support of our partner organizations and donors - like you - LFG has helped thousands of farmers, landowners and professionals in 2018. And, we welcomed two experienced farmers and professionals to our stellar team: Abby Sadauckas, Maine Field Agent, and Shemariah Blum-Evitts, Program Director. See how you've made a difference over the last 12 months!*
  • 385 new cases of direct advising services to farmers, landowners and communities
  • Over 900 participants gained knowledge, skills & connections at 34 land access & transfer workshops that LFG conducted with partners 
  • 150 new farm properties active on New England Farmland Finder, which increased traffic by 40% to 110,000 visits
  • Over 580 farm seekers registered on New England Farmland Finder
  • Over 7,800 registered to use the Acquiring Your Farm online tutorial 
  • 1600 users completed 3600 downloads of educational materials from landforgood.org
  • 26 farmers from 18 farms developed succession plans through Farm Succession Schools
* 12 month period ending 8/31/18, the final year of LAP2
"I think your organization is profoundly important to farm people. Not just the land per se, but the people who are connected to it," shared a farm transfer client and farm succession school participant.

"I went to Land For Good workshops at conferences. They got me started. I used LFG's online lease templates. They were great; you can't find that information anywhere else. Tess helped when I got towards the end of the process by reviewing the final draft lease. It was very helpful to work with someone who was in the same boat and had been in my situation," said a beginning farmer in RI.

"We want to express our appreciation for being offered these services and our gratitude for Cara being so patient and accommodating," shared a NH farm seeker
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Land For Good | 39 Central Square, Suite 306, Keene, NH 03431 | 603.357.1600