Our Good Work, Spring 2020
We hope you are safe and secure during these challenging times. 

Never have so many been so aware of the fragility and inequities of the dominant food system in our country. As with many parts of our society, we must transform farming and food systems so that they are resilient, just, and equitable for all.  We have a lot of work to do - together. 

As we consider the future impacts of this pandemic on land access and security for farmers, LFG continues to work in solidarity with partners, advocates, and farm supporters to stand with our farmers. Secure access to land for farmers who grow our food and steward our land is as critical as ever. 

Farmers are resilient, but they need our support. Our food security depends on the land security of our farmers.  Read more in this issue :
You may have received our spring fundraising appeal. We know these are difficult times and understand your situation may have changed. If you're unable to make a donation, we welcome any form of support! You could offer our free assistance to a farmer or friend, spread the news about this important work, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (coming soon) to show your support.

Every donation counts! Give today at landforgood.org/donate.


Jim Habana Hafner
Executive Director
solidarity Standing in solidarity

Black Lives Matter. Land For Good stands in solidarity with the Black community.

Our food and farming systems, and the institutions that govern them, are steeped in histories of racism and oppression and continue to perpetuate inequities. Together we must transform these and other systems so they are just and equitable for all.

We recommit to the personal, organizational, and community work that will start to address past injustices and help us build systems that achieve race equity in our society. Stay tuned for more on how we are working on and recommitting to taking action for racial justice as a priority in our Strategic Plan (ratified by the Board of Directors in September 2019).  

Not just today, but always, we stand together.
covid-19 Free one-on-one assistance for farmers & farmland owners

Are you a farmer or farmland owner in New England who has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Remember, you can receive free, in-depth technical assistance to access  farmland, draft leases and other tenure agreements, improve landowner relations, or plan for your farm succession or transfer.  We are committed to serving you through the difficult road ahead .  To get free assistance:
We can also get you the support you need with other issues, including understanding and accessing government relief programs for agricultural and other small businesses.

Resources amid COVID-19
CFAP What farmers need to know about CFAP

USDA began accepting applications through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) on May 26 for direct aid payments to agricultural producers affected by price declines and additional marketing costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CFAP will provide $16 billion in aid, making it the single largest payment program in history for US farmers. However,  aid is limited to specific crops and types of loss ; the benefits of the program will vary significantly based on a producer's scale, eligible crops, and price losses. The program is intended to compensate producers for both price drops and increased marketing costs. USDA made determinations sector-wide to identify eligible crops and livestock.

Find how to apply, eligibility details, structure and a payment calculator at USDA's main  CFAP website .

Farmers in New England can  contact Land For Good  for general information about the program and referrals for additional support. 

Where to get more help?
CFAP 101 for Producers which includes some financial case studies
Farmers' Guide to the CFAP by Farmers Legal Action Group
Andal-Sundaramurthy A farmer's 10-year journey to finding land that she can call her own

Andal Sundaramurthy on her newly leased land in Wilmot, NH.
Every farmer's story of getting securely on farmland is different. For this female farmer, her journey has been 10 years in the making. In January 2020, Andal Sundaramurthy signed a lease-to-own agreement on a 3-acre field in Wilmot, NH that will become a vegetable farm .

We first met Andal in 2010 at a workshop in which we discussed the benefits of leasing farmland before buying. "LFG was helpful in showing me possibilities I wasn't aware of," shared Andal. "I never heard of leasing and assumed the only way to run a farm was to buy one or become a manager." 

Our field staff helped Andal network in the local farming community and introduced her to many tools to aid in her search, tools like New England Farmland Finder. She finally found a field owned by an open-minded couple who were supportive of local agriculture and were willing to enter a new relationship with a young farmer. Cara, our NH Field Agent, worked with Andal and the landowners to establish a sound relationship and good communication, sharing goals and concerns. We helped Andal and the landowners put plans in writing to serve both parties and crafted a lease-to-own agreement.

"Without LFG's help, I don't believe I would have ever found my first farm lease," recalled Andal.

Andal overcomes barriers to land access 
Julie-WolcottMaking land more resilient in Vermont

Julie Wolcott, photo courtesy of Stonyfield Farm.
Special thanks to to Vermont Natural Resources Council (VRNC) for sharing this hopeful interview with Julie Wolcott
Julie, a former LFG advisee, reflects on organic farming, climate change, and her hopes for increasing the number of farmers and farm families. Julie farms organically on  Green Wind Farm  with her family in Fairfield, VT, where they also produce and sell maple syrup. In 2019, after 40 years of milking cows, Green Wind Farm transferred ownership of its Jersey cattle and contract with Stonyfield Farm to a new family of farmers, who are carrying on the organic tradition on the same land.

Regenerative agriculture is a term we're hearing a lot lately as a way to make our land more resilient in the face of climate change. How does it work?

"Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that is applicable to all types of farms: conventional, organic and biodynamic. Soil health is put on a pedestal and all land management decisions, from cropping to animal and human uses, are decided through a "bettering soil health" lens. Improved soil does not sequester much carbon but it does allow for more water absorption and more biodiversity in soil life and the forages grown."

RI-young-farmer-network Rhode Island farmers share their stories
of the land

The  Young Farmer Network  (YFN) is the RI partner of our Land Access Project (LAP3),  and every growing season they host farmer potlucks from May to October. This past year's events had a particular focus on  accessing farms and farmland , such as how RI farmers look for and get on land, their land tenure stability, and the compromises and strategies in their searches.

YFN hosted a broader storytelling event this winter to celebrate their tenth anniversary, Landing on the Right Acre Five farmers recounted their journeys into agriculture through the lens of land. The farmers' stories were polished, sincere, funny, and engaging. While not representative of the full gamut of Rhode Island agriculture, no two stories were alike, so the event gave some insight into the breadth of land stories in the state, as well as the diversity of farmer personalities in the region.

Land For Good | PO Box 625, Keene, NH 03431 | 603-357-1600