Agrarian Trust helps sustainable next-generation farmers access land.
Land access is a challenge for beginning farmers, particularly those coming from a non-agricultural background as land costs are at an all-time historical high as a result of real estate values, speculator/ investment pressure, high crop prices. Even for those who inherit farmland, taxes and succession planning is a major obstacle. The profitability of farming and real farm revenues have not increased commensurate with these land costs.
Farm startup is capital intensive; particularly for diversified operations that integrate livestock, grazing, vegetable cultivation and other enterprises. These are the kinds of farm operations that new farmers are starting, because they represent the best business model for capturing direct, retail dollar, managing risk, and integrating fertility management into the farm design. These kinds of diverse farms provide year-round employment with season extension (greenhouses, hoop houses) and better resource management ( with management intensive grazing of non-tillable locations) which both strengthen the resilience of the farming operation, but building all the infrastructure, fencing, barns, greenhouses, loading docks, washing stations etc. can take up to 10 years for such a business. Paying a hefty farm-mortgage on top of these capital needs is often impossible, therefore access to patient, working capital is a critical element in start-up-success.
Farm success in the start-up phase requires that all parts of this equation are met. Good legal and financial counsel, affordable credit for capitalization, affordable land, and housing nearby the farm.