Since 2008, the Farmer-Landowner Match Program has connected more than 75 farmers and landowners, keeping more than 3,600 acres of land as farms.
What is the Farmer- Landowner Match Program?
The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) established the Farmer-Landowner Match Program in 2008 in Columbia County. Since then, CLC partnered with the Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC) to include Dutchess County. CLC helped form in the Hudson Valley Farmlink Network, a collaboration of 17 organizations working to connect farmers and landowners to strengthen opportunities for agriculture and land conservation in the Hudson Valley, in 2014. Beginning in 2019, CLC began serving as a Farmland for a New Generation Regional Navigator connecting local land link seekers to a statewide database of resources.
How does the match program work?
The best analogy is probably online dating for farmers and landowners!
Finding and leasing farmland is an exciting process, but one that can be challenging to navigate.
The free program works like this:
- 1. Create a FARM Program profile
In order to create FARM Profile, we first need to learn more about your situation. Let us know if you are farmer looking to find farmland, a landowner seeking a farmer, or listing farmland for sale and you will be prompted through a series of questions to help you describe exactly what you are looking for.
If you are a farmer, you will describe your farm operation. You will be asked about your farming background, your business plans, how much acreage you are looking for and where you would like to lease land, and what types of infrastructure you need.
If you are a landowner, you will describe your property and what type of farm operation you are looking for. For each property you list, you will be asked to describe features that would be important for prospective farm buyers such as location, size, price, tillable acres, soil composition, and existing infrastructure. CLC staff will use this information to create a set of agricultural maps that can be shared with prospective farmers.
Sign up to create a profile here, emailing FARM@clctrust.org, or by calling CLC’s FARM Program Coordinator, Terence Duvall, at 518.392.5252, ext. 225.
- 2. Submit your FARM Profile for review
You can submit your profile when you are ready to have it reviewed. CLC staff will review your information for accuracy and contact you to schedule an introductory phone call.
- 3. Search for a match and contact other FARM Program Participants
Once CLC staff has reviewed your listing and made any necessary revisions, the listing will be added to the CLC/DLC website. Visitors to our website will then be able to sort through all of our land listings and see your public profile.
You can search through listings on our site using a number of filters to find potential matches. As a registered user, you will be able to view full profiles, download maps and online resources from our FARM library, and communicate directly with other registered users using a blind email system.
Note: only registered FARM participants can view maps and other property-identifying information.
- 4. Finding a match
Finding a successful match can be a tricky process. It takes patience to contact enough potential matches to ensure you find the one that is the best fit for you. During that time there are many opportunities to either jump into an agreement too quickly or dismiss one that would work with a bit of flexibility in planning.
Don't worry, though, we are happy to help you throughout this process.
Online Resource Library
In order to help you make the best decisions throughout this process, we have compiled a comprehensive online resource library with topics such as: lease templates, farm financing and business planning, and farmland conservation tools. Once you have signed up for the program, CLC staff will share introductory materials. However, we are always happy to answer specific questions you may have and connect you with helpful resources during your search.
Request a FARM Advisor visit
The FARM Advisor Program connects participants with volunteer farmers who will visit your property and help you evaluate it for suitable farm operations. FARM Advisors can make recommendations based on your property's soils, other natural features, and existing infrastructure.
In order to request a FARM Advisor visit click here.
Once you make a match
CLC staff will work with you to sort through important issues while you are on deciding on lease terms. However, the farmer and landowner work out the specific provisions of the lease together. We recommend all leases be reviewed by licensed attorneys.
- 5. Keep your farm listing(s) active
In order to ensure that our website’s listings are current, we require you to re-subscribe for this service every 12 months. You will be sent a reminder email when your profile is ready for re-subscription along with a very brief survey that will keep you listing active.
You are able to update your profile at any time by logging into our site and editing your profile information.
You can also de-activate your profile at any time through the website or by contacting FARM@clctrust.org.