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February Hub Update

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Hello Farmland Access Hub partners! We hope you are staying warm and toasty in these frigid days of deep winter. The Hub has been using this time to learn, network, and plan for all things land access as the tri-state begins to thaw and thrive again.



Connectors and Navigators

On January 24 and 25, Renewing the Countryside and Marbleseed hosted a training retreat in Shoreview, Minnesota to train Conservation Connectors, Farmland Access Navigators, and Wisconsin Women in Conservation (WiWiC) Coordinators on Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs that benefit beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. Participants also got to dig deeper into the Farmland Access Hub and the Farmland Access Navigator program. Navigators shared stories of work with clients—both challenges and solutions—and some of their own experiences with obtaining access to land.


Besides learning exercises and inspiring discussions, everyone enjoyed an informative land access presentation by Kathryn Ruhf, founder of Land for Good, on the complexities of land tenure and the variety of models that can be used to help farmers obtain land. We are hoping Kathryn will share more of her knowledge with Navigators in future training sessions.

Farmland Access Small Working Groups

One of the great things to come out of the Connectors training retreat was recruiting some new members to our farmland access small working groups. To refresh your memory, we currently have three working groups within the Hub: Policy, Alternative Models of Land Access, and Engaging Landowners. These groups typically meet monthly to discuss challenges, brainstorm solutions and create action plans for pushing forward important land access initiatives. If you have any interest in joining one of the groups as a member—or presenting on a relevant topic—please reach out to bonnie@rtcinfo.org


Coming Soon: New Farmland Access Hub Website

Being an extraordinarily busy winter season we didn’t get the Farmland Access Hub website off the ground in January, but we are determined to have the new site up in time for the Marbleseed Organic Farming Conference, held during the last weekend of February. We’ll make sure to announce its arrival as soon it’s live.


Marbleseed Conference

Speaking of the Marbleseed conference… RTC staff, as well as some of the Navigators, will be hosting three separate events on Friday of conference weekend. During the first session on Friday morning, a land access presentation for emerging farmers will be facilitated by Jan Joannides, Brett Olson, Katie Kubovick, Moses Momanyi, and Bonnie Warndahl. In the late-morning block Bonnie Warndahl will facilitate a women’s land access discussion, and in the afternoon block all will be present to facilitate a land-seeker/landowner meet ‘n greet. Additionally, Farmland Access Navigators will be present throughout the conference at the RTC booth to answer questions and give free 15-minute consultations. If you’re at the conference come visit us with your access questions!


Organic Broadcaster: Land Access Article

If you haven’t seen it, Marbleseed’s quarterly publication Organic Broadcaster recently published an article on farmland access by RTC staff member Bonnie Warndahl. If you’d like to learn more and hear a bit about Bonnie’s own land access journey read the article (or listen to it) here!


There is always lots to do and learn about! We’re so grateful for the support of our Hub partners and the hard work everyone contributes to helping farmers gain access to land. If you would like to participate in one of our farmland access small working groups please reach out to bonnie.warndahl@marbleseed.org


Stay warm!

The Farmland Access Hub




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