On May 25th, our team at Northeast Illinois FarmLink presented to the second Stateline Farm Beginnings cohort of 2022 – an energetic and thoughtful group of seven farmers looking to grow their farm business knowledge and experience. Stateline Farm Beginnings is Angelic Organics Learning Center’s (AOLC) year-long program designed to help beginning farmers launch or expand their farm businesses through hands-on guidance, business development, and connections to farmers and non-profits in the region.
This is where we came in. AOLC asked us to present for two hours on land access because land access is such a key topic for beginning farmers and because we’ve gained extensive land access knowledge and informative stories from the field that can save farmers time and frustration.
We love opportunities like these to educate and share insights and tips with farmers and to answer the many varied questions they often have. Most farmers get into farming because they love growing food, not because they love looking for farmland and negotiating leases. Yet the kind of land access arrangement they secure will have a huge impact on the future of their enterprise. We want to help farmers be as efficient and successful as possible when they step away from the field to find new land.
Each time we connect and share is also an opportunity for us to learn how to better address the needs of the northern Illinois agricultural community. For example, during this presentation we were delighted to hear that several of the farmers who already own land were, thanks in part to our presentation, interested in leasing an acre or two to other small-scale farmers to help them achieve land access. The presentation also sparked a conversation about succession and transitioning family land to organic production.
If your organization needs a presentation on land access, please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you and collaborate on a presentation that would best suit your organization’s needs.