Farmland Tenure Online Resources Guide
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New England

Financing

Farmers’ Legal Action Group
Created By: Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG)
Description: The Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) nonprofit law center is dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land. Their website contains a page devoted to estate planning, which provides farmers with tools and information to manage their debt as they prepare to transfer ownership of their farms. The page also provides a glossary of estate terms.
Farmland Information Center
Created By: Farmland Information Center (FIC)
Description: The Farmland Information Center (FIC) is a partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and American Farmland Trust (AFT) and is authorized by the federal Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA). FIC’s website provides information about farmland protection and stewardship. It contains an online toolbox of resources for beginning farmers, which contains information on how to obtain loans and grants, pertinent tax information and sample lease documents among other resources. The website also contains a downloadable guide titled “Cultivating the Next Generation: Resources and Policies to Help Beginning Farmers Succeed in Agriculture.”
Financial Assistance in Rhode Island
Created By: United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency
Description: This page contains information regarding Rhode Island’s Farm Loan Programs, as well as Conservation Programs and Disaster Assistance Programs.
General Laws for Massachusetts Agriculture
Created By: The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment
Description: This website provides users with a directory for where to seek out the state statutes governing agricultural policy. There are also resources for new and veteran farmers on issues such as how to access land, farm business planning, financing options for beginning a farm, information on taxes and crop insurance and regulations concerning water and pesticide use.
How to Determine the Right Farm Rental Rate
Created By: UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Description: This resource is intended to guide owners and tenants through the process of determining a fair cash rental rate for farmland, equipment, and infrastructure in Vermont. The guide consists of five chapters and includes: Assessing Market Rental Rates, Assessing Landowner’s Costs of Owning Land, How To Value Equipment and Infrastructure in a Lease, How To Factor in the Farm Business’ Net Returns and How to Assess the Farmer’s Contributions to the Lease Arrangement.
Land Access and Tenure Toolshed
Created By: Vermont New Farmer Project
Description: This page of the New Farmer Project website contains articles, fact sheets, tools, links, and other resources related to farmland access and tenure (farm prospecting, farmland purchase and leasing [including alternative tenure options], land stewardship and land use regulations), as well as how to finance a farm purchase.
National Agricultural Law Center
Created By: National Agricultural Law Center
Description: The National Agricultural Law Center’s website allows users to search by topic and provides resources on agricultural leases, financing and credit, estate planning and taxation and landowner liability, in addition to providing links to applicable state and federal laws pertinent to these topics.
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Created By: New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Description: This is where farm seekers, consumers, or licensees can start to learn about agriculture policy in New Hampshire and how to manage their current enterprise or start a new one. The site contains links to pertinent agricultural rules in the state, as well as crop insurance, grants, applicable tax provisions, and guidelines for selling various crops.
New Hampshire Rural Development
Created By: United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development
Description: This resource provides an opportunity for New Hampshire/Vermont residents to learn about the different loans and grants available to them to assist in their farm and business planning efforts.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH)
Created By: NOFA-NH
Description: This page contains information on New Hampshire’s Beginning Farmer’s Program (including scholarship information), the Mentorship and Journeyman Programs and how to become a certified organic farmer.
Resource Guide for Vermont’s New and Aspiring Farmers
Created By: Vermont New Farmers Network
Description: This resource describes the various challenges new farmers face, including gaining access to land and access to capital. It also provides a list of organizations that new farmers could contact for further support and additional information.
Sustainable Farming in New England
Created By: American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, and Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Working Group.
Description: This resource is a guide for building sustainable agriculture across New England with information on both rural farming and urban agriculture.

Insurance

Crop Insurance Companies from the Massachusetts Risk Management Agency
Created By: United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency
Description: This website provides users with a list of companies that offer crop insurance coverage in Massachusetts.
General Laws for Massachusetts Agriculture
Created By: The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment
Description: This website provides users with a directory for where to seek out the state statutes governing agricultural policy. There are also resources for new and veteran farmers on issues such as how to access land, farm business planning, financing options for beginning a farm, information on taxes and crop insurance and regulations concerning water and pesticide use.
National Agricultural Law Center
Created By: National Agricultural Law Center
Description: The National Agricultural Law Center’s website allows users to search by topic and provides resources on agricultural leases, financing and credit, estate planning and taxation and landowner liability, in addition to providing links to applicable state and federal laws pertinent to these topics.
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Created By: New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Description: This is where farm seekers, consumers, or licensees can start to learn about agriculture policy in New Hampshire and how to manage their current enterprise or start a new one. The site contains links to pertinent agricultural rules in the state, as well as crop insurance, grants, applicable tax provisions, and guidelines for selling various crops.

Land Acquisition

A Landowner’s Guide to Leasing Land for Farming
Created By: Land for Good
Description: This resource provides information concerning landlord-tenant relationships, lease agreements and taxation and legal considerations. This site also provides sample leases.
A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont
Created By: Debra Heleba, Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education, and the USDA Risk Management Agency
Description: This guide consists of nine chapters, addressing: the legal structure of the farm business, farm transfer and estate planning, farmland tenure and leasing and regulation of agriculture and land use, including farm labor, organic agriculture, and on-farm food processing and marketing.
Farm Rental Assessment Checklist
Created By: The Intervale Center and UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Description: This page contains a checklist of various items to consider when examining farmland property before signing a lease. Some items listed for consideration include how to access the property, whether the property contains any easements, what is available in terms of equipment storage, whether housing is available on site, which party will be responsible for maintenance and improvements, sun and wind exposure, livestock housing, water access, soil quality and property borders.
Farm Transfer Planning Assistance
Created By: Land for Good
Description: This resource is a guide to assist farm owners in successfully transferring their property and completing their estate planning. The guide discusses various methods of transferring land and how to structure or restructure the new business entity. It discusses sole proprietorships, general partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies, among other forms of organization.
Farmers’ Legal Action Group
Created By: Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG)
Description: The Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) nonprofit law center is dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land. Their website contains a page devoted to estate planning, which provides farmers with tools and information to manage their debt as they prepare to transfer ownership of their farms. The page also provides a glossary of estate terms.
Farmland Information Center
Created By: Farmland Information Center (FIC)
Description: The Farmland Information Center (FIC) is a partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and American Farmland Trust (AFT) and is authorized by the federal Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA). FIC’s website provides information about farmland protection and stewardship. It contains an online toolbox of resources for beginning farmers, which contains information on how to obtain loans and grants, pertinent tax information and sample lease documents among other resources. The website also contains a downloadable guide titled “Cultivating the Next Generation: Resources and Policies to Help Beginning Farmers Succeed in Agriculture.”
General Laws for Massachusetts Agriculture
Created By: The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment
Description: This website provides users with a directory for where to seek out the state statutes governing agricultural policy. There are also resources for new and veteran farmers on issues such as how to access land, farm business planning, financing options for beginning a farm, information on taxes and crop insurance and regulations concerning water and pesticide use.
Guide to Accessing Land
Created By: Agrarian Trust
Description: This page contains a list of resources designed to assist new farmers in accessing land, link retiring land owners with new farmers, and provide information about leasing land, including several sample lease agreements.
How to Determine the Right Farm Rental Rate
Created By: UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Description: This resource is intended to guide owners and tenants through the process of determining a fair cash rental rate for farmland, equipment, and infrastructure in Vermont. The guide consists of five chapters and includes: Assessing Market Rental Rates, Assessing Landowner’s Costs of Owning Land, How To Value Equipment and Infrastructure in a Lease, How To Factor in the Farm Business’ Net Returns and How to Assess the Farmer’s Contributions to the Lease Arrangement.
Land Access and Tenure Toolshed
Created By: Vermont New Farmer Project
Description: This page of the New Farmer Project website contains articles, fact sheets, tools, links, and other resources related to farmland access and tenure (farm prospecting, farmland purchase and leasing [including alternative tenure options], land stewardship and land use regulations), as well as how to finance a farm purchase.
Land Tenure Compendium
Created By: The Greenhorns and Cornell Cooperative Extension
Description: This resource contains several different articles with information pertinent to land tenure issues, including different ways to secure access to farmland. It outlines several different leasing options so that new farmers can compare which model might be best for them.
Leasing Land for Farming in Rhode Island
Created By: Rhode Island Land Trust Council
Description: This resource allows users to download a Handbook for Land Trusts, Municipalities & Institutions on Leasing Land for Farming and a Handbook for Individual Property Owners on Leasing Land for Farming. Users can also watch videos about farmland succession, estate planning and land tenure strategies.
National Agricultural Law Center
Created By: National Agricultural Law Center
Description: The National Agricultural Law Center’s website allows users to search by topic and provides resources on agricultural leases, financing and credit, estate planning and taxation and landowner liability, in addition to providing links to applicable state and federal laws pertinent to these topics.
New England Farm Finder
Created By: Connecticut Farm Link, et al.
Description: Created and managed by: Connecticut Farm Link, Maine Farm Link, Land For Good, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, RI DEM, Division of Agriculture, Rutland (VT) Area Food and Farm Link, Seacoast Eat Local (NH), Southeast Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership, and Vermont Land Access Database/University of Vermont Extension. This resource allows users to click on a farm icon throughout New England and learn details about that particular farm, including what leasing options are available for the land. Users may also filter their search for farmland by numbers of acres and requesting whether housing, farm equipment, water sources and barns are available on the property.
New England Farm Resources for New Farmers
Created By: New England Small Farm Institute
Description: This website contains information for new farmers, farm mentors and service providers. The site also offers books for sale, free online resources and a page where new farmers can search for apprentice opportunities on other farms.
New England Leasing Toolkit
Created By: Land for Good
Description: This resource contains a tutorial for leasing farmland in New England, as well as guides for leasing land from both a landowner’s and a tenant’s perspective. It also includes sample lease agreements.
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Created By: New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Description: This is where farm seekers, consumers, or licensees can start to learn about agriculture policy in New Hampshire and how to manage their current enterprise or start a new one. The site contains links to pertinent agricultural rules in the state, as well as crop insurance, grants, applicable tax provisions, and guidelines for selling various crops.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH)
Created By: NOFA-NH
Description: This page contains information on New Hampshire’s Beginning Farmer’s Program (including scholarship information), the Mentorship and Journeyman Programs and how to become a certified organic farmer.
Resource Guide for Vermont’s New and Aspiring Farmers
Created By: Vermont New Farmers Network
Description: This resource describes the various challenges new farmers face, including gaining access to land and access to capital. It also provides a list of organizations that new farmers could contact for further support and additional information.
Sustainable Farming in New England
Created By: American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, and Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Working Group.
Description: This resource is a guide for building sustainable agriculture across New England with information on both rural farming and urban agriculture.
The State of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Agriculture: Farm Preservation
Created By: the State of Rhode Island
Description: This page provides information about the State’s Farmland Preservation Program, which allows the State to purchase development rights from farmers. Under this program, farmers are permitted to retain ownership of their property while protecting the lands for agricultural use. Users can download the application form and access the program’s FAQ list for further information.
The State of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Agriculture: Opportunities for Farmland
Created By: the State of Rhode Island
Description: This page lists opportunities for new farmers to lease or purchase farmland as it becomes available throughout the State.
Vermont Land Link
Created By: Intervale Center, Land For Good, Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, University of Vermont Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Vermont Land Trust
Description: This resource was designed to help those seeking farmland in Vermont connect with those seeking to sell farmland in Vermont by allowing users to search for farmable property within the state. The resources page contains links to organizations that can provide additional information regarding business planning, land tenure acquisition, facilitating land arrangements and agreements and land succession and transfer.

State Statutes

A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont
Created By: Debra Heleba, Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education, and the USDA Risk Management Agency
Description: This guide consists of nine chapters, addressing: the legal structure of the farm business, farm transfer and estate planning, farmland tenure and leasing and regulation of agriculture and land use, including farm labor, organic agriculture, and on-farm food processing and marketing.
General Laws for Massachusetts Agriculture
Created By: The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment
Description: This website provides users with a directory for where to seek out the state statutes governing agricultural policy. There are also resources for new and veteran farmers on issues such as how to access land, farm business planning, financing options for beginning a farm, information on taxes and crop insurance and regulations concerning water and pesticide use.
Massachusetts State Legislature Statutes
Created By: the Massachusetts State Legislature
Description: This website allows users to access any of Massachusetts’s state statutes. The site is keyword searchable. Part I, Title IX, Chapter 61a concerns the tax assessment of agricultural and horticulture lands. Title XIX concerns agriculture and conservation.
National Agricultural Law Center
Created By: National Agricultural Law Center
Description: The National Agricultural Law Center’s website allows users to search by topic and provides resources on agricultural leases, financing and credit, estate planning and taxation and landowner liability, in addition to providing links to applicable state and federal laws pertinent to these topics.
New Hampshire Agricultural and Incentive Zoning
Created By: the State of New Hampshire
Description: This document explains New Hampshire’s state statures governing the agricultural use of land and discusses how to create and advocate for an agricultural incentive zoning ordinance to preserve farmland.
New Hampshire State Statutes
Created By: the New Hampshire State Legislature
Description: This page contains links to all of New Hampshire’s state statutes. Title XIV contains information on milk and milk products, while Title XL contains the law regarding agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry.
Rhode Island State Statutes
Created By: the Rhode Island State Legislature
Description: This site contains all of Rhode Island’s statutes. Title II deals with agriculture and forestry, while Title IV deals with animals and animal husbandry. If farmers are starting a new business, Title VII will also be helpful, as it sets forth the law on corporations, associations and partnerships.
Vermont State Statutes
Created By: the Vermont State Legislature
Description: This page contains an electronic version of the state statutes of Vermont. Users can search through the code with search terms or by title. Farmers will likely be interested in Title 6 (Agriculture), Title 10 (Conservation and Development) and Title 11 (Corporations, Partnerships, and Associations).

Taxation

A Landowner’s Guide to Leasing Land for Farming
Created By: Land for Good
Description: This resource provides information concerning landlord-tenant relationships, lease agreements and taxation and legal considerations. This site also provides sample leases.
General Laws for Massachusetts Agriculture
Created By: The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment
Description: This website provides users with a directory for where to seek out the state statutes governing agricultural policy. There are also resources for new and veteran farmers on issues such as how to access land, farm business planning, financing options for beginning a farm, information on taxes and crop insurance and regulations concerning water and pesticide use.
Massachusetts State Legislature Statutes
Created By: the Massachusetts State Legislature
Description: This website allows users to access any of Massachusetts’s state statutes. The site is keyword searchable. Part I, Title IX, Chapter 61a concerns the tax assessment of agricultural and horticulture lands. Title XIX concerns agriculture and conservation.
National Agricultural Law Center
Created By: National Agricultural Law Center
Description: The National Agricultural Law Center’s website allows users to search by topic and provides resources on agricultural leases, financing and credit, estate planning and taxation and landowner liability, in addition to providing links to applicable state and federal laws pertinent to these topics.
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Created By: New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Description: This is where farm seekers, consumers, or licensees can start to learn about agriculture policy in New Hampshire and how to manage their current enterprise or start a new one. The site contains links to pertinent agricultural rules in the state, as well as crop insurance, grants, applicable tax provisions, and guidelines for selling various crops.
Sustainable Farming in New England
Created By: American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, and Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Working Group.
Description: This resource is a guide for building sustainable agriculture across New England with information on both rural farming and urban agriculture.

Urban Agriculture

City of Boston Urban Agriculture
Created By: City of Boston
Description: This site seeks to promote urban agriculture in Boston and provides proposed zoning regulations that would permit urban agriculture. Users may view the proposed regulations and provide feedback.
Massachusetts Urban Farming Network
Created By: Massachusetts Urban Farming Network
Description: The Massachusetts Urban Farming Network’s mission is to provide just-harvested, organic produce to local residents that is accessible, affordable, and abundant. This site encourages Massachusetts residents to create their own micro-businesses through urban agriculture. The organization provides start up capital, seasonal maintenance and guidance about which crops to grow.
Sustainable Farming in New England
Created By: American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, and Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Working Group.
Description: This resource is a guide for building sustainable agriculture across New England with information on both rural farming and urban agriculture.
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