Crystal Abers of the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism has been selected to participate in Farmland Advisors, a new training program on farm transfer and farmland access options designed for professionals working with farmers and landowners.
With nearly 25 percent of the farmland in New York and New England owned by farmers aged 65 and older, transferring land to the next generation of farmers poses a significant challenge. The Farmland Advisors program was launched to strengthen the network of professionals capable of working with farmers and landowners on transferring farm businesses and farmland and aiding new farmers in securing land.
The two-year training program will be led by American Farmland Trust, a nationwide farmland conservation organization, and Land For Good, an organization that helps provide farmland access, farm transfer planning, land planning, and farm use agreements. Funding is provided by a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Grant.
Abers was one of 80 participants selected to participate in the Farmland Advisors program from a pool of applicants from New York and New England. Participants include Cooperative Extension educators, land trust staff, agricultural service providers and other professionals working with farmers and farmland owners. Farmland Advisors addresses this challenge of facilitating farm transfer by educating participants through a series of progressive learning and networking opportunities, including webinars, a regional conference, and peer-to-peer exchanges about farmland and farm transfer issues.
Topics to be covered during the training include building relationships with landowners; leases; conservation easements; family and personal issues in estate planning; and tax and financial considerations in farm transfers. Program development will be guided by a steering committee comprised of representatives from American Farmland Trust, Land for Good, New World Foundation, Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, Cornell Small Farms Program, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, GrowNYC, University of Connecticut Extension, Maine Farmland Trust, Peconic Land Trust, New York FarmNet/FarmLink, and University of Vermont's Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
For more information about Farmland Advisors, contact Diane Held at 471-7134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.