As the current generation of farmers retires, millions of acres of farmland are expected to change hands over the coming decade. However, the high cost of farmland makes land access difficult for young or beginning farmers looking to start their career, as well as for active farmers looking to expand or diversify their operations. CLC’s work to support agriculture in Columbia County combines farmland conservation tools with access programs to keep our local farms viable and in production.
The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) and Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC) partner to operate a Farmer Landowner Match Program in Columbia and Dutchess Counties. This free program connects farmers seeking land with landowners seeking farmers, and provides resources and individual consultations to facilitate fair, secure, and long-term farm leases, and farm sales.
The CLC/DLC Farmer Landowner Match Program also collaborates with the Farmland for a New Generation New York Program (FNG-NY) to host online profiles for landowners interested in finding farmers as well as farmers seeking land. This program, coordinated by American Farmland Trust, brings additional agricultural resources to landowners and farmers. As a Regional Navigator in the Farmland for a New Generation Program, CLC can help connect you to service providers from across New York State to better assist you in your search.
You can also create your own land or farmer profile by following the instructions on the Farmland for a New Generation webpage.
The Farm Advisor Program provides free on-site farm evaluations to help program participants gain a better understanding of their land’s agricultural potential. Advisors also provide recommendations to prepare the land for supporting a farm operation.