Land Access

Land is fundamental to agriculture and accessing it can be profoundly challenging and costly.  Here are a few of the best resources we know of for helping you navigate land access while establishing or expanding an operation.

A Comprehensive Guide for New and Beginning Farmers

AffordingFor new and beginning farmers wanting to understand what the range of land access options are, Greenhorns has put out an excellent guide to all the options available.  Note that the first fourteen pages are a history of land access.  It is factual but left-leaning in its bent.  Don’t let a potential disagreement with the first chapter cause you to miss what is the best content we’ve seen on this.  You can always skip it.

Length: 2-3 hours
Level: Basic/Intermediate
Topic: Leasing and Land Access
Author: Severine v T Fleming, Kristen Loria, Kendra Johnson, Cara Sipprelle

Publisher: Greenhorns, 2014

What you’ll get out of it: An overview of the history of land access issues, tips and tricks for buying, selling, and leasing land, strategies for acquiring financing, and much, much more.

Why we love it: Everything you could need to know about leasing, renting, or buying land is in this document, whether you’re new at this or whether you have rented, leased, bought or sold land in the past. Plus, it includes an extensive resource guide at the end, for more information on anything you still feel you need.

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 Land Access Clearinghouse for the Upper Midwest

Here’s a great clearinghouse for ads for land, farmers to farm it, apprenticeships and whatever else you might need from a community of like-minded farmers.


Skim time: 10 minutes
Level: Basic
Topic: Seeking Farmer – Seeking Land Clearinghouse

Publisher: The Land Stewardship Project

What you’ll get out of it: Land or a farmer! It’s a clearinghouse of brief ads for both, regularly updated. You can post, respond or just monitor it for opportunities.

Why we love it: It’s a way to connect people that otherwise would have a hard time connecting.

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The Place for Farm Legal Guidance

Farm Commons is a goldmine of information.  There is a lot of support here for what needs to be considered from the landowner and renter side in a lease agreement, in transferring property, and all the other situations where farms and the law intersect.


Time you could spend on the site: endless. Tons of resources.
Level: Basic to Advanced
Publisher: Farm Commons

What you’ll get out of it: a ton of helpful information and support for navigating legal issues as a farmer.

Why we love it: When something is a labor of love and a passion, it shows. Rachel Armstrong generously shares her legal knowledge because she believes in sustainable farmers and wants to help them succeed. How could we not love that?

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A Primer on Agreements around Grazing Cover Crops

Read time: 15 minutes
Level: Basic
Topic: Lease Considerations for Grazing Cover Crops on Non-owned Land
Author: Practical Farmers of Iowa

What you’ll get out of it: a simple, quick starter on things to consider when entering into a grazing cover crops deal.

Why we love it: There’s not much written about this and PFI’s guide is just the simple and straightforward primer that’ll get you on your way.

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