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, including:
- Developing a leasing guidebook (and lease planning worksheets)
- Holding informational leasing meetings for landowners
- Developing and holding educational courses for landowners
- Enhancing online linking capacities
This project was supported by funds from the USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program (NIFA #2011-49400-30739) and applies to all farms, traditional and organic. The project was conducted from 2011-2014.
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, "Leasing Farmland in New Jersey: A Guide for Landowners and Farmers," 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. The guidebook’s target audiences per the grant are beginning farmers and landowners, but the published guide is useful to all farmers.
- NJ Farmland Leasing Guidebook (660 KB - better for email)
- NJ Farmland Leasing Guidebook (14.1 MB - better for printing)
To request a printed copy, please contact the SADC at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send you a copy in the mail.
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.
- Landowner Worksheet - Planning for a Lease (PDF - 304 KB)
- Farmer Worksheet - Planning for a Lease (PDF - 280 KB)
To request printed copies, please contact the SADC at email@example.com.
Each year during the three-year project, the SADC and NOFA-NJ held three regional informational and networking meetings for landowners and farmers.
The meetings focused on discussing leasing resources, experiences, and opportunities. They were also designed to introduce landowners to the project and get their feedback to help shape the development of the leasing guide. For more information, see the general announcement for the 2012 meetings.
The meetings focused again on 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, see the outreach flier for the 2013 meetings.
The meetings provided an overview of land leasing resources followed by a networking opportunity for farmland owners and farmers seeking access to land. As with the prior meetings, landowners and farmers looking to connect regarding leasing opportunities were invited to attend.
- Networking session at the NOFA-NJ Winter Conference (January 2014)
- Networking session as part of a Farm Site-Evaluation workshop (March 2014)
- Networking session for landowners and farmers at Rutgers (July 2014)
The SADC developed and offered two leasing-related educational courses for landowners. Farmers were also invited to attend the courses, which were offered in collaboration with NOFA-NJ.
- Leasing 101 Workshop - offered twice in 2013
- Maintaining Leases and Managing Conflict in a Lease - offered twice in 2014
The SADC and NOFA-NJ collaborated on the development of a new and improved linking website. Check back here for updates throughout 2015.