On November 10th RAFFL hosted a workshop on leasing land to farmers as part of its first step in a newpartnership with Land for Good to help provide farmers and landowners in the Rutland region with the technical assistance and resources critical to help more farmers find land. The workshop was for landowners interested in leasing land to farmers and had a fantastic line up of specialists from Land for Good, UVM extension, and the Vermont Land Trust.
I attended this workshop as a RAFFL staff member and walked away with some key insights and tools that are worth spreading the word about. Here are the top three take a ways for you.
#1- The most important thing you can do is create a lease with the person you are going to be leasing land to no matter how well you already know them or how little the amount of land is. The process of creating a lease will help the land owner and the farmer match their expectations and help iron out any potential problems that might come up in the future, not to mention preserve a good relationship if there ever is a problem.
#2- The farmer and land owner should take some time to come up with their own set of goals and expectations for what this partnership will look like. It is dangerous to assume that both parties have the same goals or vision of what it will mean to farm a piece of land. The land owner might not themselves be a farmer and their idea of what it means to have a farm on their land might not be entirely realistic or the same as the farmer.
#3- Build a Relationship! The farmer and land owner need to build a good working relationship and make sure to communicate throughout the leasing term so that everyone feels in the picture about what is happening on the land and everyone stays happy!
If you are interested in learning more about leasing land to a farmer Land for Good just released a new handbook “A Landowner’s Guide to Leasing Land for Farming” which you can find here: http:// www.landforgood.org/pdfs/LFG_LeasingLandHbook%289-4%29.pdf
RAFFL is committed to continuing to work in conjunction with Land for Good to help farmers find land, if you are a land owner or farmer please contact us with any questions you might have at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 417-1528 and keep an eye out for more upcoming workshops!