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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 story of Wingate Farm is firmly grounded in the rich and complex dynamics of multi-generational family farming, in which everyone must come together to plan the future of the family’s farm. Through their shared commitment and use of innovative tools to promote farmland affordability, the farmers at Wingate have ensured that the farm will remain accessible to future generations. Wingate Farm exemplifies how Agrarian Trust could ensure affordability and active sustainable farming as central goals within our work to create an agrarian commons.
We commissioned and presented a new poster to visually explain how we’ve mapped out the structure of an agrarian commons and engaged in discussions with a number of legacy farmers who expressed interest. Check out our new Agrarian Commons poster (version 1.0) and let us know what you think!
FaithLands, through its fiscal sponsor Agrarian Trust, seeks to hire a part-time project coordinator to initiate, organize, and coordinate the FaithLands work in eastern North Carolina. The mission of FaithLands is to support 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. This FaithLands initiative in eastern NC is being led by a coalition of groups including F.A.R.M.S., The Conservation Fund, Agrarian Trust, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
That these farms are going to change hands is inevitable; that the next generation of farmers who so desperately want to farm them cannot afford to buy them is a stark reality. How can land trusts help turn the tide against the mounting barriers faced by our nation’s farmers?