Thursday, August 8, 2013

LAP Wraps - The 6-state Land Access Project wraps up

What do you call a project with over 40 partners in six states working in five task forces over three years?
LAP header
We call it the Land Access Project (LAP)LAP is winding down, touting accomplishments that have substantially improved farmland access for beginning and other farmers in New England. Under the direction of LFG, this multi-faceted project addressed the farmland access challenge from a systems perspective, meaning we holistically-tackled the problem from several angles. 

LAP colleagues from organizations and agencies in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont helped farm seekers learn about their options and make sound land acquisition decisions. Equally important, we worked with those who own the land - farmland owners and farm families transitioning out of farming. We trained and connected service providers who have a role in land access and transfer.

We held a dozen workshops for non-farming landowners and produced guides for farmers without successors, next generation farmers, and public and private landowners. We created a regional online farm property clearinghouse, and upgraded a website for retiring farmers. Our reports on policy innovations, farmland investors and agricultural easements translate investigation into practical recommendations to improve land access in our region. In the process we sent over 1,900 emails to hundreds of farm organizations, service providers, civic leaders and agency personnel about our events and products. 

Many audiences will benefit from our efforts, from farmers to landowners to policymakers. 

Over 90% of LAP project partners thought that LAP has resulted in improved communication about land access issues among service providers across New England. Commented one partner:  "Honored to be part of this New England team. Excellent job, Land For Good; your leadership was exactly what we needed to fulfill the goals of this project."

LAP was supported by the US Department of Agriculture's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (USDA/NIFA BFRD #2010-03067). It is one of several dozen projects across the country working on beginning farmer training and support. 
Due to the Farm Bill quagmire, the opportunity for LFG to renew this project and build upon its successes and collaborations has been eliminated. The future of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program itself is uncertain. Nonetheless, our work has lasting impact and we'll continue with our New England partners to improve land access for farm seekers.   

Monday, October 15, 2012

Keeping Farm in Family requires strategy- USA Today

This is a great article that underscores the incontrovertible link between beginning farmers and succession. Here are a couple of facts I lifted from the article:

According to the Department of Agriculture, family farms account for about 98% of all farms in the USA and for 85% of the nation's total agricultural output. About 70% of the nation's farmland will change hands in the next two decades, and recent surveys show that about 89% of farmers don't have a farm-transfer plan, according to the USDA.

Read the entire article at:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beauty of local farming

Improving access to locally grown food just makes sense. Locally grown food is fresh, more affordable (it eliminates food distribution costs) and strengthens the local economy by supporting local farmers and their families. This photo reminded me of the importance of our work at Land For Good - improving access to land for farming. The land provides all we need as long as we take care of it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Public needs vs. farming: How a community came together to overcome this controversy

A great article explaining how the community of Northampton, Massachusetts turned a public needs vs. farming land dispute into a "win-win" situation for all. It also highlights the hand Land For Good board member, Clem Clay, played in making this happen. Read now >>

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Broadturn Farm and Penny Jordan in Play about a Community and its Farm

Land For Good board member, John Bliss,' Broadturn Farm, serves as a backdrop for an original play about a group of local farmers which provide sustenance for their community. LFG field staff, Penny Jordan, debuts in her first acting gig! Read more...

Maine Magazine profiles Land For Good field staff member, Penny Jordan

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Langwater Farm Celebration

Over one hundred men, women, and children enjoyed a bountiful feast of fresh food, hayrides, and camradarie last Saturday at Langwater Farm, North Easton, Massachusetts. The event was organized by Land For Good, the food was provided by Langwater Farm. It could not have been a more perfect evening!

Friends of Langwater Farm help to serve food picked the day before.

Celebration participants enjoy food and each other's company under an old oak tree.

Minnie Ames, whose family leases the land to Langwater Farm, shares the story of how, with the help of Land For Good, the land was transformed into a community CSA.

Langwater Farmer, Kevin O'Dwyer, with his daughter.

Crowd listens to presentations from Land For Good, SEMAP, and the NRT.

The tent was a welcome respite to many in the late afternoon sun.

Land For Good co-director, Bob Bernstein, shares on the importance of local collaborations to keeping farming viable.

Langwater Farmer and chef extraodinaire, Alida Cantor.

Langwater Farm crops

The event site - gorgeous!