The Farmland Access Hub Newsletter
By Bonnie Warndahl
One of the difficulties in working on non-family farm transitions is that—well—there haven’t been very many. Without successful examples of passing on a farm from one family or individual to another, fairly and equitably, it is difficult to understand how such a transfer can work. Depending on the size and value of the land, the value of outbuildings, and the value of the currently operating business (or not) transferring from one generation to the next within a family can be a raucous headache.
That’s why, when we stumbled upon a fabulous online news article about a local (as in upper Midwest) non-family farm transition, we just knew we had to share! Passing on the Farm, written by Julie Little in February of this year (2023), and published by Root River Current based in southeastern Minnesota, tells a lovely story of how a retired farmer and his young, beginning-farmer neighbors, were able to work together for a solution that benefited themselves as well as the land. Read Passing on the Farm to learn more about the details of this interesting arrangement.
Do you have a story about a successful non-family farm transition? Or perhaps an unusual in-family farm transition? Please don’t hesitate to reach out and share with us! The more examples we have—and resources for real-time conversations with folks who have been through the process—the better we can help others in our daily efforts to save farmland and create better, more equitable access to land for our young and emerging farmers.
Please email email@example.com with your story or use the contact form here on our website.
SAVE THE DATE!!!
Farmland Access Summit
November 14-15, 2023 | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN
Will we have farming communities in the Upper Midwest in the future? Will young people become farmers? Will older farmers be able to retire?
On November 14 & 15, stakeholders from around the upper Midwest, including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois, will gather to learn, share, and connect around an array of issues related to farmland access such as financing, tenure, conservation, and transfer. The Farmland Access Summit will raise awareness of critical challenges and opportunities, bring together impact-makers, and highlight opportunities for advancing policy and action around farmland access and transfer.
The Summit will be held at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN and hosted by the Farmland Access Hub, a consortium of entities working together to improve farmland access for emerging farmers.
There are two large brainstorming sessions scheduled in early August to gather input from our partners and invested interests and we hope you will participate in this important step of the planning process. You may join either or both. Each will be recorded and notes will be shared following the discussions. Please note that registration is required!
Farmland Summit Brainstorming Discussion—Option 1 (August 7, 9–10:30) REGISTER HERE
Farmland Summit Brainstorming Discussion—Option 2 (August 9, 3–4:30) REGISTER HERE
We hope you will join us and please, please, please share this information and registration links with anyone you believe would be interested in this planning discussion.
Also, stay tuned for the Summit Sessions Call for Proposals! We will soon be sending out detailed information about session topics and how to submit a proposal. One way to receive notice about this is by joining the Farmland Access Hub Listerv which will also help you stay connected and find out about upcoming events an opportunities. If you would like to be added to the listserv email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page and check the box requesting to be added!
Land Access Opportunities!
Green Island Preserve
Green Island Preserve, owned by Kent Sheer, is a 60-acre agroforestry woodland inside the city of Wadena in north central Minnesota. The name comes from its situation as an island of green surrounded by homes and retail.
Green Island had been an 80-acre family dairy farm through the 1930s until the 1950s. The land has not been tilled or sprayed since then but has been tended and treasured by three generations. With no heirs, Kent is beginning the search for the right successors and is very open to innovation and creativity.
Check out our Farm Transitions Page to learn more about Kent's land and his vision. You can also contact him directly at:
Are you a landowner interested in transitioning your farm to the next generation? You may want to consider featuring your farm’s profile on the new “Transitions” page on the Farmland Access Hub website. It is our hope that this page will become a central resource in the Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa tristate area for farmland owners hoping to connect with interested farmers regarding the transfer of land and farm businesses. If you would like to have your farm’s profile added to the transitions page please contact Bonnie Warndahl at email@example.com or 612-462-9311.
July 27—Building Equitable Farmland Tenure in the Upper Midwest
Join us July 27th (tomorrow!) for the second of two dynamic and informative sessions about building equitable farmland tenure in the upper Midwest!
The first workshop was already held on July 13th to help attorneys and other agricultural support professionals understand the complexity of equitable farmland access—but you can still join the upcoming webinar on July 27th!
This session will help you understand how farmers and farm supporters across a range of fields, including attorneys, accountants, extension agents, farmland access navigators, and connectors to government programs authorized in the Farm Bill, can help to address the many challenges to equitable farmland access, especially for historically marginalized farmers collectively working to grow food for their communities.
These upcoming PFI field days will include discussions around elements of land access. Read to the bottom of each event description to learn about discussions you would like to participate in.
Aug 20—3:30–4:30 p.m., Carmen Black, Sundog Farm in Solon—Meet up following field day. (Lunch served at noon. Field day scheduled 1-3 p.m.)
Sept 23—10 a.m. to noon, Mark, Melanie, and Monroe Peterson in Stanton—Family Farm transfer meet up integrated into field day. Lunch to follow.
Sept 8—12:30-2:30 p.m. Josh Nelson in Belmond, Iowa tenant/landowner topic integrated into field day. No meal.
Don't forget to check back soon for upcoming events, Farmland Summit details, transitioning farm opportunities and more great farmland access info!