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National Map of Agrarian Commons



Featuring an Agrarian Trust original series: The Human Side of Land Transition


For more Agrarian Trust videos, check out our YouTube channel.


Check out our events calendar for info on upcoming webinars.

The Creation of Local Agrarian Commons  

 In the next two decades, it’s estimated that over 400 million acres of farmland will change ownership in the United States. The Agrarian Trust is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that tomorrow’s farmers have access to this land, and that the opportunities to farm remain economically viable. In this webinar, Ian McSweeney, Director of the Agrarian Trust, talks about the Agrarian Commons model co-created by Agrarian Trust and many partners. The Agrarian Commons will purchase farmland and enter into fair long-term leases with new farmers, while protecting the land with easements and restrictions supporting ecologically restorative agricultural practices. 

Watch the full webinar above (for fullscreen, click to watch on Youtube). 

All presentation slides can be viewed here.

Who Will Own the Land? Recommoning Farmland via an Agrarian Trust

Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons Webinar, June 2020

On June 5th, 2020, Ian McSweeney, director of Agrarian Trust, presented on the Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons.


Featuring interviews with Agrarian Trust staff and board members

Ian McSweeney is the director of Agrarian Land Trust, an organization that works to bring farms into community centered ownership and equitable lease tenure. Recently, the Trust initiated a crowdfunding campaign with Fayette County and the Urban Renewal Authority to bring about secure and equitable lease tenure to New Roots Community Farm in the post-coal region of Southern West Virginia, in the United States. In this discussion with Ian we talk about why it is so important to find ways to fund the transfer of farmlands to the hands of the communities involved and how this can help a new generation of farmers who are eager to do regenerative farming but often lack the resources to do so.

Designers of Paradise, a Regenerative Agriculture Sector Accelerator (RASA) podcast: Ian McSweeney - The Agrarian Commons

Ian and Erik discuss how the commons are created and managed, how farms cooperate and collaborate, and the differences between conservation, community, and agrarian land trusts. They talk about different dimensions of equity and how to get involved with Agrarian Trust whether it is opportunities to farm, offer financial support, or invest.

Ian McSweeney of the Agrarian Trust and Fabio Sakomoto of Rizoma Agro are the guests of the new episode of the Soil Builders series. In the series we welcome back previous friends of the podcast to understand their progress and we discover new companies, startups, farmers, investors engaged in building soil all over the world.

A New and Ancient Story: Land Healing through Young Farmers | Severine von Tscharner Fleming

Next Gen Farmers: A Land-Loving Story | Severine von Tscharner Fleming

One of the biggest challenges that I’ve heard repeatedly both in the interviews in this series on regenerative agriculture as well as with peers and clients that I’ve collaborated with, is the difficulty for aspiring farmers to get access to land.

In this interview Ian speaks about farmland transfer, conservation, secure tenure, and fundraising models across the US. He also gives inspiring examples of the first handful of members across the country that are blazing a new trail for communities invested in their agricultural future and the diversity of people who steward their farms.

Facilitating the transition of the best regenerative soil to the next regeneration of regen farmers: an interview with Ian McSweeney, director of the Agrarian Trust. Some highlights of our conversation:

  • Great wealth has been accumulated in this country through extractive industries. We need to collectively realize that the returns and wealth we got used to are based on extractive and exploitation.
  • We need to get used to negative return, we need to return wealth to the soil, the ecosystems and communities we extracted for so long.
  • We need to look at ways to compensate for sequestering carbon in soils.
  • The prices of the leases of the Agrarian trust are directly connected to the soil building of the farmers.

Ashes Ashes: Barriers to Growth

There seems to be a perfect storm of factors that threaten to completely reshape who owns farmland here in the US and globally. 400 million acres of farmland in the US alone will change hands in the next 20 years, farmers are retiring and there is a much smaller generation of young farmers to replace them, and global investment for agriculture land is on the rise, which will push family farmers off the land in favor of industrial consolidation. Beyond that, farmland is being lost to competing land uses. In the United States, that's between 1 and 3 acres of farmland lost every minute. To help navigate some of these issues, and as an example of solutions that are being developed and implemented to fight against these trends, we are joined by Ian McSweeney, organizational director of Agrarian Trust.