The following resources may be helpful for finding farmers for a farming opportunity you have available.
NJ Farm Link Program - Online Farming Opportunity Listings - One of the Farm Link Program's functions is to help connect farm owners with farmers seeking access to land and farming opportunities. Farm owners who are looking for farmers may advertise the farming opportunities they have available (land for lease; preserved farm for sale; partnership, farm manager, internship, apprenticeship, employment and other opportunities) through the Farm Link Program's free online listings. Likewise, farm seekers may post summaries on the website of the farming opportunities they are seeking. In terms of farms for sale, the Farm Link Program website only lists preserved farms or farms than can no longer be developed.
- Create a listing for your farming opporunity - Complete the Farm Owner form
Additional Online Listings - Farm owners may also advertise the farming opportunities they have available (and review the opportunities sought by others) through additional sites' online listings. Some of these additional sites include the following:
- NOFA-NJ - Classifieds
- PASA - Classifieds and Other Employment & Opportunities
- Rodale Institute - Farmers Connect
- NOFA - Classifieds
- NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project - Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships
- Local Harvest - Jobs and Internships Forum
- NEWOOF - Farm Apprenticeships
- New England Land Link - Farming opportunity listings
- Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group - Job Listings (Food-system and farming related job opportunities)
- Community Food Security Coalition - Listserve (Food-system and farming related opportunities are sometimes posted here)
Additional Print Listings - Some farm owners with farming opportunities advertise in print publications. Some of these include the following:
- New Jersey Farmer newspaper - Classifieds (in print and online)
- Lancaster Farming newspaper - Classifieds (in print and online)
- Other local newspapers
- Newsletters of local agricultural organizations
Additional local contacts and word-of-mouth - Contacting your local Rutgers Cooperative Extension county agent, or speaking with local farmers and agricultural organizations, such as NOFA-NJ or a County Board of Agriculture (CBA) or County Agriculture Development Board (CADB), may also be helpful for learning about farmers seeking farming opportunities. Talking to people locally and using word-of-mouth is often an effective way to advertise a farming opportunity that is available.
For information on additional, local agricultural organizations, see the Directory of Agricultural Organizations published by the NJ Department of Agriculture or the Green Pages, an agricultural resource guide published by Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
Types of farmers seeking farming opportunities - Farmers seeking access to land include established farmers and beginning farmers. Established farmers are often looking to expand or relocate an existing farm operation (or sometimes to partner with another person or work as a farm manager). Similiarly, new and beginning farmers are often looking for land in order to start or expand a new farm business (or to partner, manage, or work on a farm).
New farmers are a diverse group and come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, including: people who grew up on a farm; recent college graduates interested in farming but who may have little farming experience; people looking to transition to farming from a successful non-farm career; and recent immigrants who may have more significant agricultural experience.
NOFA-NJ's Beginning Farmer Program is one program that helps support beginning farmers in New Jersey. GrowNYC's New Farmer Development effort, part of its FARMroots program, is another effort that works with aspiring farmers. The program is based in New York and often has farmers who are looking for farming opportunities. GrowNYC could be another organization to contact for assistance with finding farmers.
To learn more about the "access to land" issues faced by new and established farmers, visit the New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI) website or read Access to Land, an article co-authored by Growing New Farmers and the NESFI. The Spring 2004 edition of The Natural Farmer also has a special supplement on "Access to Land."
NJ Farmland Preservation Program - For owners of unpreserved farmland who are looking to sell their land and see it remain in agriculture, the Farmland Preservation Program may be of assistance. By selling a farm's development rights through the preservation program, the land is preserved and the farm's cost to a potential farmer-buyer can be lowered.
In some cases, a farm owner may not be able to preserve his or her farm in a timely manner. The Farmland Preservation Program's Fee Simple Purchase Program may be able to help in these situations. If the farm meets the program's eligibility criteria, the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) can buy the farm at the farm's unrestricted market value, preserve the farm by applying the program's farmland preservation deed restrictions, and then resell the now-preserved farm at auction. Local county agriculture development boards, municipalities, and non-profits may also be interested in purchasing and preserving farms in this way for agriculture.