Welcome to Illinois FarmLink, a program of The Land Connection that connects and empowers farmers and farmland owners!
If you previously came to this website address for Northeast Illinois FarmLink and are now surprised to find Illinois FarmLink, here is the backstory. With generous funding from Food:Land:Opportunity and inspired by similar programs springing up around the country, Liberty Prairie Foundation launched Northeast Illinois FarmLink in 2019. The Foundation did so to address the many challenges around farmland access today in the northeast corner of the state that are the same elsewhere – the difficulties farmers and farmland owners face in finding each other, rising land prices, development pressures, discrimination against farmers of color, and a coming wave of generational farmland ownership transitions for which many families are unprepared. Liberty Prairie Foundation’s chose the domain name www.illinoisfarmlink.org because even then their team saw the need for a statewide program.
Over time, Liberty Prairie Foundation received a growing number of requests for land access help from farmers and landowners outside of northeast Illinois. One of the groups most interested in meeting this need was The Land Connection, a non-profit based in Champaign that had started with a particular concern for helping farmland-owning families keep their land in farming. Over time, it had expanded its work to serving farmers, food businesses, and eaters with a variety of activities and programs that foster the production of and easier access to local, healthy food.
Conversations between the Foundation, The Land Connection, and other organizations sparked excitement about the creation of a statewide land access program. It soon became clear that such a program best fit The Land Connection’s mission and vision and was a logical evolution of its programmatic work. In 2022, Liberty Prairie Foundation generously agreed to transfer the Northeast Illinois FarmLink website to The Land Connection out of a common commitment to community-friendly, land-conserving agriculture in Illinois.
The Land Connection’s Illinois FarmLink program now provides farmland access services for the whole state. We’re here to help you, whether you are a farmer or a landowner. Through the creation of free profiles on our website, you can efficiently locate farmland properties or farmers that could be a good fit. We also offer free advising, educational resources, and events to enable you to carry out better searches and work out better arrangements. Over time, we also expect to build partnerships around the state with other organizations and businesses to provide expanded services and test new land access strategies. All of this will contribute to an Illinois agriculture that is good for communities, for the health of families, and for the land and water of the Prairie State.
Let us know how we can help you.