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The SADC in collaboration with NOFA-NJ recently worked on a project to support beginning farmers in New Jersey. The SADC's role in the project involved enhancing leasing and linking resources for landowners and farmers. This included:

  1. Developing a leasing guidebook (and lease planning worksheets) 
  2. Holding informational leasing meetings for landowners
  3. Developing and holding educational courses for landowners
  4. Enhancing online linking capacities

This project was supported by funds from the USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program (NIFA #2011-49400-30739) and will apply to all farms, traditional and organic. See below for the latest project information (updated September 2014).

1. Farmland Leasing Guidebook

The new guidebook, "Leasing Farmland in New Jersey: A Guide for Landowners and Farmers," is now available. See below to learn more and request a copy.

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When it comes to leasing, landowners and farmers often have the same questions:

  • What do I need to consider (when making my land available/seeking access to land)?
  • How long should the lease term be?
  • What provisions should it include?
  • How much should the rental rate be?
  • What are the motivations and interests of the other party?

The SADC in collaboration with NOFA-NJ has published a new guidebook to help answer these questions and to assist landowners and farmers in creating leasing agreements and relationships that work for them. With information gathered from our conversations with New Jersey landowners and farmers, and from research of other states’ leasing guides, the guidebook includes sections on getting started, creating and maintaining your lease, sample leases, leasing profiles, and additional resources.

To request a copy of the guidebook:

The guidebook’s target audiences per the grant are beginning farmers and landowners (who are looking to either access farmland or make it available), but the published guide will be useful to all farmers.

Leasing Worksheet - Planning for a Lease - The SADC in collaboration with NOFA-NJ also developed two leasing worksheets as companions to the "Leasing Farmland in New Jersey" guidebook. The worksheets are designed to help landowners and farmers clarify their goals and needs, evaluate potential opportunities, and plan for a lease.

To request a printed copy of a worksheet, contact the SADC at sadc@ag.state.nj.us or (609) 984-2504.

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2. Informational Leasing Meetings for landowners and farmers

Each year during the three-year project (2012-2014), the SADC and NOFA-NJ held three regional informational/networking meetings for landowners and farmers. See below for more information on the 2014 meetings.

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2014 meetings
The meetings provided an overview of land leasing resources followed by a networking opportunity for farmland owners and farmers seeking access to land. L
andowners and farmers looking to connect regarding leasing opportunities were invited to attend the meetings, as they had been in 2012 and 2013. For more information on the 2014 meetings, see the links below:

2013 meetings
The meetings focused on discussing leasing resources, experiences, and opportunities. They were designed to help introduce landowners to the basics about leasing and making their land available for farming, and to provide farmers with an opportunity to meet potential lease partners. The goals were for landowners and farmers to:

  • Learn about leasing strategies, considerations, and opportunities
  • Hear from farmer speakers on their leasing experiences and recommendations
  • Network with and hear from other landowners

For more information on the 2013 meetings, see the outreach flier for the 2013 meetings.

2012 meetings
For more information on the 2012 meetings, see the general announcement for the 2012 meetings.

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3. Educational courses for landowners

The SADC developed and offered leasing-related educational courses for landowners. Farmers were invited to attend as well. In 2014, a conlfict-management course, "Maintaining Farmland Leases: Managing Conflict in Your Lease Agreement," was offered. In 2013, a "Leasing 101 Workshop" was offered. See below for more information on the courses, which were offered in collaboration with NOFA-NJ.

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2014 Educational Course - Landowners and farmers were invited to attend the "Maintaining Farmland Leases: Managing Conflict in Your Lease Agreement" workshop:

2013 Educational Course - A Leasing 101 Workshop for landowners was offered twice in 2013. For more information on the course, "Making Your Land Available for Farming: Leasing 101," see the outreach flier about the Leasing 101 workshop. 

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4. Enhancing Online Linking Capacities

The SADC and NOFA-NJ are working to enhance online linking capabilities for landowners and farmers through the development of an improved linking website. Check back here and with NOFA-NJ for updates throughout 2014.

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