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Through leadership in farmland conservation, transfer and tenure, our many events and gatherings, and our Agrarian Legal Support initiative, we support all stakeholders, from farmers and farmland owners to communities and activists, educators, and investors. >> Learn more about our work.
Agrarian Trust’s mission is to support land access for next generation farmers.
In the next two decades, it is predicted that 400 million acres of U.S. farmland will change hands. What happens to that land when it reaches the market is crucial to the future of our food system, and current trends point in the wrong direction. The price of land in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the past decade, driven by an unregulated, speculative marketplace, international investment, a distorted subsidy system, and by unrestrained development pressure.
In this crucial moment of land transition, a new generation of farmers has emerged. The demand for organic food is strong and growing, and with a changing climate, the urgency for restoration, ecological stewardship, and conservation is becoming more evident. Yet the majority of young farmers and beginning farmers of all ages struggle with land access, affordability, and tenure. The price of farmland is not justified by the profitability of the farming business, stacking the odds against today’s incoming agrarians.
We need to chart the way forward. We need to hold our precious farmland in a trust for its best uses: sustainable food production and collective, ecological stewardship. We must also help the incoming organic leadership build on the legacy of our organic elders, many who have been farming for more than 30 years, and keep organic land in production. We need to support the stakeholders engaged in complex land succession, with all the accounting, estate planning, retirement planning and legal and technical assistance that is necessary. We need a national conversation that leads to action and traction for sustainable farming at the foundation of a new, just and equitable economy. Finally, we need policy reform to strengthen democratic ownership and control of our nation’s farmland.
What We Do
Our team has more than 60 years of combined experience in agriculture and farmland conservation. We assist farmers, organizations, and communities in many ways. Here are some of the services our team offers and our current initiatives:
Resource Support, Advising & Consultation
Agrarian Commons, Agrarian Legal Support, FaithLands & more…
Our ever-growing list of free and affordable resources…
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Latest Land News Blog Posts
The Woodland Community Land Trust was incorporated in 1979, making it one of the oldest Community Land Trusts (CLTs) established in the United States. Located in the Clearfork Valley of northeastern Tennessee, a low-income Appalachian community dominated by extractive industry and concentrated land holding, economic, and political power, Woodland recently marked its 40th year in operation. Today, Woodland’s vision of community ownership still resounds in possibilities for Appalachian people and confronts the realities of peasant land dispossession throughout U.S. history and worldwide.
We’re thrilled to welcome Josie Walker to our team as our Eastern North Carolina Project Coordinator for FaithLands, a coalition-led initiative that supports faith communities in making lands available for sustainable, agroecological farming, especially to those in society marginalized by virtue of class, race, gender, economic status, and other factors.
With snowshoes, I’ve been able to explore every aspect of my new property in Wolcott, Vermont. The cold temperatures and glistening snow drifts feel like a different planet from my first visit here in the early days of June. Buying this piece of land was the culmination of a ten year long dream my husband and I shared as we raised crops and livestock in the Southeastern United States. To think that all of those vegetables, markets, evenings shared in the Appalachian hills, and lists made would lead to such a beautiful place seems like the wrong answer to an improbable equation.
The Earthseed Land Collective was formally established in 2012 by a group of black and brown farmers and social justice organizers. All in their 30s and early 40s at the time of its founding, the group currently includes seven founding members. Over the past decade, they have sought to establish a stable land base for their families and an equally grounded, self-sustaining, and welcoming hub for community building, particularly among farmers of color and food justice advocates…