Connecting next-generation farmers with land

June 11, 2011

There is a surging interest in locally-grown food, but land prices here are high and few new farmers have access to farmland through inheritance: they need access to leased land to get started. There is a natural connection here for lands that are protected by a land trust or under some conservation easements to be connected with someone who will farm them sustainably.

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) has a new program to help this next generation of farmers find land to lease, and help landowners find farmers for their land. Focused first on southeastern Pennsylvania, PASA provides a matching service and serves as a resource for agricultural lease templates. Eligible land can be of any size, though the program has a slight preference for parcels in the 10 – 30 acre size. Agricultural must be an allowable use under zoning and access to water is essential. During the pilot stage of the project there are no fees. For more information click on the link above and select, “Land Leasing Program.”