Since 2010, Land Stewardship Project (LSP) staff members have talked to hundreds of beginning and retiring farmers and professionals about transitioning land to the next generation of farmers. During these visits, a few questions consistently emerged:
• Retiring farmers were saying, “I know I should be doing some planning for the future; where do I start? Are there really beginning farmers who want to farm?”
• Both beginning and retiring farmers asked “How do we find each other?”
• Financial planners said, “I wish I had more tools for clients thinking about next steps with their land– what are people doing and what is working?”
In response to these questions, LSP envisioned this toolkit to share the best examples and resources available for farmers and landowners who are seeking to transition their land to a beginning farmer.
LSP continues to work to better understand what is needed for farmland to be transitioned to the next generation of farmers. There are many challenges facing farmers today. Some solutions can be found on an individual level, and others are deep societal problems that require collective organizing. Our work on both of these fronts is guided by a steering committee of beginning and retiring farmers.
- Authors: Land Stewardship Project, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, National Center for Appropriate Technology, Farmers’ Legal Action Group
- Published: September 2013, MISA, Univ of Minnesota
- Intended audience: new farmers, LSP, farmers looking to pass their farms on to younger generations
- Goals / purpose: To give and recommend resources for farmers and landowners seeking to transition their land to a beginning farmer.
- Methods - How would someone know they could trust this?
- Wide variety of sources used to create the toolkit
- From 1 (not very well)–4 (very well), how well does this source of food knowledge:
- Engage an adequate range of perspectives and types of knowledge? (3)
- Translate between diverse perspectives? (2)
- Address conflicts across perspectives? (3)
- Generate useful information for those affected by the issues addressed? (4)
- Include an adequate range of relevant stakeholders throughout the knowledge-creation process? (3)
- Help users of this knowledge source learn from each other? (3)
- Allow users of this knowledge source to put what they learn into action? (4)
- Consider the larger context as necessary? (2)
- What is useful, meaningful, surprising, or a problem? Questions?
- Very useful in its applicability to farm transitions that occur every day in MN and the US
- The depth of this transition toolkit is important and meaningful, although it is buried in the MISA website, which is a problem.
- What do you think could or should be done with this source of knowledge?
- What has already been done?
- How should we keep track of what this knowledge does as it circulates in the world?
- What connections would you like to see made to other information / people / organizations?