The average age of farmers in America is 57, a figure that consistently is on the rise. As a result, farmland succession is becoming of greater concern while beginning farmers are simultaneously struggling to find affordable farmland. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available for farmers that can help with land transfer, tenure and succession planning.
International Farm Transition Network (IFTN)
The IFTN website lists all land link organizations by state. Land link currently exists in 23 states as a resource that connects farmers that are seeking land with farmland that is for sale or lease. Oftentimes, these programs assist farmers with lease negotiation and can even provide financial support during the process. Some land link programs offer succession planning training or resources.
California FarmLink offers an extensive online list of resources available to farmers seeking to buy or sell land.
Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance offers an online map with listings of all land trust organizations by state. A land trust is an organization that works to conserve land through helping with the process of easement attainment or management. An agricultural easement is an important tool in dealing with succession, allowing farmers to dictate what their land is used for after it is sold. This can be invaluable to a farmer by restricting development on the land after it is passed on so it is farmed in the future.
The Greenhorns offers an Access to Land guide that provides links to resources focusing on incubator farms, farm link programs, lease agreements, agricultural and conservation easements and land tenure.
The Agrarian Trust resource page contains a growing list of resources that can help with many aspects of land access, transfer and succession planning. Some of the categories covered in this list include: accessing land, financing and financial planning, agricultural mediation and legal services, succession planning, and much more!
Land for Good
This 2013 Resource Spotlight highlights succession guides that are available to assist with the farm succession process. The publications cover everything “from setting goals to understanding legal and financial terms used in farmland and business transfers.”
The site’s Toolbox page also contains resources pertaining to land access, tenure and transfer separated into the following categories: farm seekers, farm transfer planning, landowners, educators and advisors and communities.
Land Stewardship Project
The Land Stewardship Project, in partnership with the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Farmers Legal Action Group, National Center for Appropriate Technology and the United States Department of Agriculture, developed the Farm Transitions Toolkit. This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step information and advice on the transition process.