Farmland Tenure Online Resources Guide
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National

Financing

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
Created By: The United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library
Description: This link provides a general overview of grants and loans available to farmers in the United States.
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.”
Financing and Planning for a Farm Business
Created By: Beginning Farmers
Description: This website provides information concerning financing new farm ventures through loans and grants. It also contains information on finding farmland and starting and managing a farm.
Financing Opportunities for New Farmers
Created By: United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency
Description: This website contains an interactive map through which farm seekers can access state-specific information on real estate loans and other financing mechanisms for beginning farmers.
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 Farmer Tutorial and Resources for Current Farmers
Created By: National Agricultural Library
Description: This website contains a tutorial designed to provide farmers or farm seekers the opportunity to learn about how to start and manage their own farms. It also contains resources for current farmers and ranchers, and provides networking opportunities so that beginner and veteran farmers can connect with each other.

Insurance

Legal Tools to Support Urban Agriculture in the U.S.
Created By: Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC)
Description: This resource describes the process for accessing public land and land held in land trusts for the purpose of urban agriculture. It also provides information regarding lease agreements and easements for non-profit urban agriculture projects, including sample public land use agreements. Finally, it provides information regarding liability and insurance issues related to urban agriculture.
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.

Land Acquisition

American Farmland Trust State Information
Created By: American Farmland Trust
Description: This resource allows users to click on their state to view different resources and policy initiatives to protect farmland, provide healthy food to residents, and create sustainable local food communities.
Farm Transitions Toolkit
Created By: Land Stewardship Project, a non-profit organization based in Minnesota
Description: This resource provides guidance on farmland transfers. The toolkit contains a list of topics to discuss when planning for the succession of a farm. The webpage also contains a farm transitions portal, which guides users through planning for retirement from farming, finding interested farmers to take over the land and how to seek advice on estate planning.
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.”
Guide to Accessing Land
Created By: Agrarian Trust
Description: This webpage contains a list of resources designed to assist new farmers in accessing land, connect retiring land owners with new farmers and provide information about leasing land. This resource also contains several sample lease agreements.
Legal Tools to Support Urban Agriculture in the U.S.
Created By: Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC)
Description: This resource describes the process for accessing public land and land held in land trusts for the purpose of urban agriculture. It also provides information regarding lease agreements and easements for non-profit urban agriculture projects, including sample public land use agreements. Finally, it provides information regarding liability and insurance issues related to urban agriculture.
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 Farmer Tutorial and Resources for Current Farmers
Created By: National Agricultural Library
Description: This website contains a tutorial designed to provide farmers or farm seekers the opportunity to learn about how to start and manage their own farms. It also contains resources for current farmers and ranchers, and provides networking opportunities so that beginner and veteran farmers can connect with each other.
NOLO Right to Farm
Created By: Nolo.com
Description: For those who don’t fully understand ‘Right to Farm’ laws, “NOLO” a well-respected legal resource for ‘do it yourselfers,’ provides a brief article on understanding the nuances and legal aspects of such laws.
State Right-To-Farm Laws
Created By: National Agricultural Law Center
Description: This site provides an interactive map of the United States through which users can access state-specific right-to-farm laws and state statutes.

State Statutes

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.

Taxation

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.
State Tax Rates
Created By: Tax-Rates.org
Description: Property taxes are collected on a county level and this website provides information for land owners or seekers who are interested in learning what their rate would be.

Urban Agriculture

Food Policy Toolkit
Created By: The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic
Description: Section IV of the toolkit – titled “Urban Agriculture” – describes various methods that local food policy councils use to work with local government or non-government partners for the purpose of supporting urban agricultural initiatives. For example, in order to promote long-term tenure rights to urban land, food policy councils can work to amend zoning laws, create a system to inventory land that is in use and work with other stake holders to identify private land that would be suitable for urban agriculture. It also discusses how to address environmental barriers to land access, such as how to convert former contaminated brownfields to land that is suitable for urban agriculture.
Legal Tools to Support Urban Agriculture in the U.S.
Created By: Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC)
Description: This resource describes the process for accessing public land and land held in land trusts for the purpose of urban agriculture. It also provides information regarding lease agreements and easements for non-profit urban agriculture projects, including sample public land use agreements. Finally, it provides information regarding liability and insurance issues related to urban agriculture.
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Disclaimer
The Center for Food and Agriculture Systems is an initiative of Vermont Law School. The content provided on this site is for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If users have questions regarding the topics discussed herein, they should consult an attorney. This webpage should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. The information provided on or by this webpage is not – and is not intended to be – a substitute for their potential need to consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice law in the appropriate jurisdiction. We disclaim any responsibility for any particular matter that affects a user’s specific situation. While efforts will be made to maintain and update the resources contained on the webpage, no warranty or other guarantee is made with respect to the timeliness or accuracy of any information provided on or by the webpage.