Written By: Leah Chester-Davis
Beginning farmers often run into challenges when trying to find affordable land to lease or buy. Among the first challenges is finding property.
NC Choices, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in collaboration with N.C. Cooperative Extension, has launched a new project focusing on the increasing number of beginning farmers in North Carolina. They are teaming up with NC FarmLink, another Extension program that connects farmers and landowners across the state through databases of both available farmland and farmers looking for land.
Various tabs on the NC FarmLink website direct you to information, depending on your needs. If you need to find property, click on the “Find a Farm” tab and a map appears with properties pinpointed on the map, along with a listing of farms, ranging from .4 acres in Orange County to as many as 270 in Ashe County. Many provide some type of description such as “available for lease for hay” or “fenced pasture” or “organic farmland,” for example. Currently, 76 properties are listed but the list changes as current listings are leased or sold and new properties are added.
Looking for a farmer to farm your land? Check out the “Find a Farmer” tab. Nearly 100 farmers are listed with wide-ranging experience, some just getting started and others with more than 30 years farming under their belts.
A resources page provides other useful information and links to educational materials. Learn more at https://ncfarmlink.org.
See other blog posts in this 5-part series about the NC Choices Beginning Farmers Project. To learn more about the new grant-funded program that is seeking to pair beginning farmers with landowners on lands such as solar sites, land trusts, and wooded lots, visit www.ncchoices.com or contact Lee Menius, NC Choices technical program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.