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How AFT’s Buy, Protect, Sell Strategy Helps a New Generation Gain Access to Farmland


As the Farmland Access Hub has developed to support new and beginning farmers in accessing farmland, it's become clear that one of the biggest obstacles is access to affordable farmland. Early in the Hub's development, partner American Farmland Trust became involved, helping to forward an innovative strategy: Buy-Protect-Sell.

Hub leaders worked with AFT to bring this model, initiated on the U.S. coasts, to the farming heartland. In this complex yet effective approach, a selected farm is protected by an agricultural conservation easement, allowing the outgoing farmer a fair sales price while also supporting an incoming farmer with a more affordable entry price. The easement removes the development rights from the land, limiting nonagricultural development and other uses that may threaten the future of farming. The removal of development rights not only ensures that the land can remain in active agricultural use, it also reduces the overall price of the property, making the farm more affordable for the purchaser.

With the potential to change the landscape for farmland access in the Upper Midwest, Hub members and farmer clients succeeded with the first transition in May of 2022, with more in process. Read more at:


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