Land is necessary for farming. That goes without saying. However, finding the right parcel, in the right area, with the right irrigation, and on land you can access or afford is difficult. Equally challenging on the landowner side is finding a trustworthy tenant farmer. And once the parties find each other, coming to mutually agreeable terms is yet another hurdle.
Last month’s panel members: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, Quivira Coalition; Molly Booker, National Young Farmers Coalition; Brent Ricks, Landowner; and Rick Lopez, USDA, did a great job addressing those issues. The panelists discussed relationships and expectations between landowners and land seekers. We covered lease agreements, succession planning, land improvement/preparation and who benefits, duration of leases and their alignment with various funding sources and loans, and key questions to ask as both a land owner and tenant farmer. Questions to consider include information about water sources, water rights, soil types, soil conditions, accessory uses, hours of operation and most importantly expectations.
The information we learned will translate into improvements to the LandLink site. Thanks to everyone for attending and sharing so honestly.
View this and other stories in the April 2017 issue of Local Food Connections.