Rhode Island

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Keeping Farmers on the Land: New Research Underscores Need To Address Farm Transition in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, farmers age 65 and older own or manage nearly thirty percent of the farms, and most are farming without a young farmer alongside them. New research from American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Land For Good sheds light on what this means for the future of Rhode Island agriculture. 

Keeping Farmers on the Land: New Research Underscores Need To Address Farm Transition in New England

Farmers age 65 and older own or manage nearly one-third of New England’s farms, and most are farming without a young farmer alongside them. New research from American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Land For Good sheds light on what this means for the future of New England agriculture.

Gaining Insights, Gaining Access Webinar: Using New Data To Inform Farm Transfer and Land Access

On November 23 and 24, 2015, American Farmland Trust and Land For Good hosted two Webinars to discuss the results of our Gaining Insights, Gaining Access project.

This is the first Webinar in a series intended for land conservation organizations, agricultural service providers and policymakers. We hope they will help inform services, programming and policies around farm succession, transfer planning and land access. 

New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System

A sustainable food and farming system in New England is key to creating a region that is resilient, just, healthy, economically vibrant, and environmentally sound. New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System identifies policies that are helping New England grow its capacity to feed itself, policies that are hindering this growth, gaps in the existing policy framework, and opportunities for new policies to strengthen our food system. The report is based on interviews with food and farming leaders across the region and nearly two years of research and analysis.

A New England Food Vision

A New England Food Vision describes a future in which New England produces at least half of the region’s food—and no one goes hungry. It looks ahead half a century and sees farming and fishing as important regional economic forces; soils, forests, and waterways cared for sustainably; healthy diets as a norm; and access to food valued as a basic human right.

New England Farm Leasing Tutorial

The tutorial was developed as part of a project called Understanding and Negotiating Leases for New England Farm Entrants.

The goal of this tutorial is to introduce you to the benefits and challenges of leasing. It will explain types of farm leases, and when to use them. It may help you consider, design and negotiate legally sound, written lease agreements.

While this tutorial and the project are intended for aspiring, new and beginning farmers, anyone interested in farm leasing will find useful information in these modules.

Agriculture and Climate Change: The Needs of Agriculture in a Warming Climate

American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conducted a series of 10 webinars delving into policy issues addressed in their report, New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System, bringing in experts in the field.

This webinar was #5 in the series.

Does the Option at Agricultural Value Protect Farmland for Beginning Farmers? A Policy Analysis

Since the late 1970’s, local and state governments have protected nearly 2.7 million acres of farmland with Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement programs. Given market trends and program regulations, the threat of these protected farms being taken out of the agricultural marketplace became a concern for farming advocates and lawmakers.

Farmland Access and Tenure Innovations: Policy and Program Suggestions to Promote Land Access for New England’s Beginning Farmers

Beginning farmers in New England face particularly daunting obstacles to accessing land in a region where cropland and pasture make up less than 5 percent of the land base and the price of farmland in some areas can exceed ten times the national average. It is essential to develop new strategies to make farms and farmland more accessible, affordable and secure for beginning farmers for the region to sustain and grow its farm sector

Guide to Farming in New York State

This guide is comprised of a series of individual fact sheets addressing topics pertinent to planning and operating a farm business. It is not enterprise specific. Rather it addresses topics common to operating a farm business in New York State.

The fact sheets are updated annually. Visit Cornell Unviersity's Northeast Beginning Farmers Project Web site below for the most recent version.

 

FarmStart

In 2005, Farm Credit East initiated a program to support talented, hardworking individuals entering agriculture. FarmStart assists beginning farmers and new cooperatives through their startup years by providing working capital investments of up to $50,000 to get their business off the ground. The investment functions the same as an operating line of credit. It is intended to provide the critical last dollar of funding to overcome the timing mismatch that makes it difficult for true startup farming operations to generate working capital. Repayment of these funds is up to five years.

New England Land Link

New England Land Link (NELL) is a program of the New England Small Farm Institute that helps farmers and landholders locate and transfer farms in New England. NELL offers a web-based listing of farm properties in New England and New York, as well as information about other linking programs and resources regionally and nationally.

A Vision for Rhode Island Agriculture: Five-Year Strategic Plan

In order to build on recent success and to ensure a thriving agriculture sector and local food system, the Rhode Island Agricultural Partnership and the RIDEM Division of Agriculture assembled an Advisory Committee made up of individuals representing state, quasi-state and federal agencies as well as independent non-profit organizations and others. The Advisory Committee hired American Farmland Trust to assist in developing and producing a comprehensive Five-Year Strategic Plan for Rhode Island’s Agriculture.

A Citizen’s Guide to the Farm, Forest, and Open Space Act

Rhode Island law allows property enrolled in the Farm, Forest and Open Space Program to be assessed at its current use, not its value for development. The purpose of the law is not to reduce property taxes, but to conserve Rhode Island’s productive agricultural and forest land by reducing the chance it will have to be sold for development.

This publication summarizes the rules and regulations and is intended to serve as a guide for property owners interested in enrolling their property in the Program.

Farm Transfer Network of New England

The Farm Transfer Network of New England is a network of professionals and organizations that provides farm transfer expertise and support.

FTNNE participants offer education, individual and family consultations, referrals, and resource materials.

FTNNE also conducts workshops and trainings about farm transfer, farm tenure, and related topics for farm families, municipalities, land trusts and other conservation organizations, as well as the general public.

 
 

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group

The mission of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) is to build a more sustainable, healthy, and equitable food system for the region. They organize, support, and mobilize a 12-state network of organizations and individuals to ensure the strategic impact of a collective voice as they take action toward common goals. Their work strengthens and coordinates the work of hundreds of other organizations by building synergy among them and aligning resources to achieve systemic change at all levels.

Leasing Land to Farmers: A Handbook for New England Land Trusts, Municipalities and Institutions

This handbook is intended to help land trusts, municipalities and institutions such as schools, churches and nonprofit organizations that own farmland to keep that land in production — or bring it into production — by leasing it to farmers.The resources in this handbook will help municipalities, land trusts and both public and private institutions consider options and find ways to structure successful tenancy arrangements with farmers.

Regionalist Approaches to Farm and Food Systems Policy: A Focus on the Northeast

This paper explores why agriculture and food system policy needs to pay more attention to regions. Regionalism, which urges a move from sector-based to place-based policymaking, has emerged as a powerful principle in public policy. Applied to agriculture and food policy, it acknowledges the regional diversity of the U.S. farm and food system and enables important differences between regions to be articulated and addressed more explicitly in the policy making
process.

Farmland Transfer and Protection in New England

The purpose of this guide is to assist New England farmers with “the complex interpersonal, legal and financial considerations that can constrain or derail a farm transfer and jeopardize a farm’s future viability. The guide offers a variety of perspectives and strategies, includes worksheets to help users think through critical issues, and identifies sources of more technical information.”

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