Leasing land to a beginning farmer can benefit the landowner, the new farmer, the land, and the community.  Landowners are rewarded with the satisfaction of helping provide rewarding employment to an eager farmer ready for the chance to prove themself.  The new farmer is given access to farmland, and perhaps, depending on the landowners other priorities, a mentor.  The new farmer might also be more eager or at least willing to try alternative methods of farming in order to gain access to land.  Further, the community as a whole benefits from the employment provided.

The resources listed below provide access to additional information on the importance, the benefits, and the methods of assisting a new farmer.

Feature New Farmer Publication
America’s New Agrarians: Policy Opportunities and Legal Innovations to Support New Farmers, Fordham Environmental Law Review (Volume 22, Fall 2011). This article, written by Drake Agricultural Law Center Director Neil Hamilton, explores innovative policy opportunities and makes several recommendations for beginning farmer and agricultural entrepreneur service providers.

The Drake Forum, America’s New Farmers: Policy Innovations and Opportunities.

  • Held March 4 and 5, 2010, The New Farmer Forum brought together a variety of stakeholders from across the country to identify and inventory innovative policies and projects at the federal, state, and local levels to support new farmers.
  • The Forum Roundup provides an extensive list of links to participating organizations, government programs, policy analysis, and innovative ideas.
  • The results of a survey taken by participants relating to challenges and opportunities for beginning farmers and the organizations and programs designed to assist them is also available.

The FarmLASTS Project.

  • Lasting from 2007 – 2010, this project was organized with the purpose of addressing concerns regarding “farmland access and tenure for farm entrants, farm succession challenges for exiting farm operators, and the impacts of tenure and succession arrangements on land use and the environment.”
  • The Research Report and Recommendations from the FarmLASTS Project provides access to the findings and recommendations of the project.

Farm On at Iowa State University’s Beginning Farmer Center

  • “A service to help preserve the family farm business by matching beginning farmers who do not own land, with retiring farmers who do not have heirs to continue the family farm business.”

Transition Incentives Program (TIP) Fact Sheet, Farm Services Agency, USDA, May 2010.

  • The Transition Incentives Program offers retired or retiring farmers with land coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) the opportunity to receive two years of additional CRP payment for selling or leasing their property to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer.
  • This fact sheet provides additional details, eligibility requirements, and enrollment procedures.

Farm Beginnings, The Land Stewardship Project

  • Provides information on the Project’s training and loan programs to assist beginning farmers.