Our Good Work Newsletter                                                        Fall 2012

Happy Autumn,  

 

 

This summer, I attended the Northeast Organic Farming Summer Conference in Amherst, MA. I met many hopeful farm seekers in varying degrees of readiness to search for the right piece of land.

 

As a beginning farmer myself, it is easy to remember exactly how these current farm seekers feel. Full of knowledge, ideals, and hope, yet lacking the community a farmer relies so heavily upon for identity and a successful business. Unlike many other professions, a farmer's identity and growth link closely with the land they hold.

 

Just two years ago, I stood in front of the Land For Good display table, grilling the ever patient (now employer) Bob Bernstein on how to actually take that next step. I probably wanted an easy solution; a product I could buy to get started. Through working with Land For Good as a farm seeker, I learned that the process of finding land is highly individualized and stems from my own needs and ability to make a plan, follow it, and above all, believe in myself. 
 

I needed Land For Good's support in the process of assessing my goals and finding and evaluating land. This critical step nurtured my ideas into reality and into the bellies of my surrounding community. 
 

Farm seekers become farmers, each in their own unique way. Over the past 10 years, Land For Good has nurtured many farmers, and helped to turn vision, skill and hope into secure land tenure along with sustenance for their community. Please enjoy their stories of transformation.

 

Yours in farming,
  

Melissa Blindow
NH Field Staff, Land For Good,   

co-owner of Benedikt Dairy 

 

Visit our blog  LAND FOR GOOD WEBSITE

 

 

 

 

   Board of  Directors
David Ames Jr.
Ames Realty Trust
Cambridge,MA      

 

John Bliss
Owner,
Broadturn Farm

Scarborough, ME

 
Jeffrey Cole

Conn. College

Connecticut

 

Clem Clay
Trust for
Public Land

Massachusetts

  

Claudia J. Ford

Antioch New England

Rhode Island

 

Judith Haran
Community Healthlink

Massachusetts

  

Andrew Marshall
Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Assoc.

Maine

Sally Dodge Mole
President
Vermont Lamb Co.
Vermont

 

Glen Ohlund
TD Bank
New Hampshire

 

Michael Smolak, Smolak Farms

Massachusetts

President

 

 

 

 

 

NEFF2Land For Good's mission is to keep New England's farmers and agricultural lands working.

 

We specialize in helping people get onto, care for, and pass on farms and other agricultural properties
across New England
.

Our educational programming, research and advocacy have reached communities throughout the region and nation.
Please help us to continue to find solutions that are good for farmers, landowners, communities, and
the land.

 

Please support us. Donate today!

 

Thank you!

________________________________________________

 

Kitchen Table Coaching

Ginette Fosher is passionate about farming. Like many beginning farmers, she is interested in producing local, sustainably-grown food as a profession. For her, farming involves community engagement and social principles, not just growing onions.
  
Like many aspiring farmers, Ginette got her start at farming by working part-time for a local CSA in Southern New Hampshire. With over 10 years experience, Ginette is well-versed in the farming methods used to produce organically grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers. She is now ready to step out on her own. 

A native of New Mexico, Everett Ottinger came to coastal Maine's Blue Hill Peninsula for a brief stint as a WWOOFer (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). This experience piqued his interest in farming and eventually, he established a small scale market garden in Penobscot. Currently, he uses a cabin and a an acre in exchange for labor toward rehabilitating the crop-growing potential of his land. Everett is ready to craft a suitable lease
and to search for land that he can lease or buy as his farm operation grows.

Land For Good offers unique "kitchen table" coaching, providing farmers like Ginette and Everett a safe, supportive space to clarify their vision and the issues surrounding it. We assist farmers to create a plan, identify key considerations when working to secure land, and advise them on their next steps.
 
In early Spring 2012, Ginette came to us for help. With our guidance, Ginette developed a flyer that described the desired type of farming situation she is looking for. She posted her flyer in a variety of outlets.

 

As "a logical next step" Everett enrolled in Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener Association's (MOFGA) Journeyperson program. Land For Good, in partnership with MOFGA and Maine Farmland Trust (MFT), led Everett through the process of creating an agreement that gives him secure tenure at his current location. We will continue to support him throughout the stages of his search for land -- whether it's finding, transferring or leasing a farm. We will facilitate conversations, keep the process moving (often the biggest obstacle to success), and coordinate teams of advisors. No other organization or service provides this customized, personal support.

 


Land Here!
 
Finding accessible, affordable land to farm will be one of the greatest barriers facing Ginette and Everett. At a recent Northeast conference, 50 beginning farmers were asked what was their greatest challenge. When asked about access to land, nearly every hand went up. What does access to land mean? For farmers to start or build farm enterprises they need land that is:

  • Available: can be found, acquired, physically reached, and used as needed
  • Affordable: financially feasible, whether buying or leasing
  • Secure: assurance that they can stay on and invest in the land as they desire
  • Appropriate: suited to their personal and business needs

 

Our Land Here! program coaches farm seekers through the issues surrounding land acquisition - assessment and  negotiation, legal, financial and business considerations, housing, and stewardship. In addition, we conduct at least six workshops each year on land access. We cover topics such as tenure basics, lease versus purchase, what's in a lease, working with landowners, financial readiness, and search and assessment strategies. As a result of our efforts, in four years, over 550 farm seekers are more prepared to make sound land acquisition decisions. On our website, we offer numerous resource links for farm seekers including our "Acquiring Your Farm" online course.  

 

We will update you on Ginette and Everett's progress in the coming year.

 

To find out more about how we can assist you in reaching your farming goals, please go to our website at www.landforgood.org or email us at: info@landforgood.org.

    

 
Workshops 
Oct. 27   "Leasing Your Land to a Farmer: An Informational Workshop for Landowners, Community Organizations and Farmers", Blue Hill, ME

Nov. 3  
   "Leasing Your Land to a Farmer: An Informational Workshop for Landowners, Community Organizations and Farmers", W. Lebanon, NH & Wells, ME

Nov. 10 
   "Leasing Your Land to a Farmer: An Informational Workshop for Landowners, Community Organizations and Farmers", Rutland, VT

Dec. 13 
   "Finding Your Farm: From Basics to Action", Young Farmers Conference, Stone Barns Center, Pocantico Hills, New York.

For more information on these workshops, CLICK HERE

 

 

Land For Good is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization supported by grants, fees, and donations.

 

Website: www.landforgood.org

Email: info@landforgood.org

Phone: (603) 357-1600