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News and Events

Support Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

hurricane damage

Looking for ways to help Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricanes? Consider this appeal from our friends in the CLT movement:

We are writing to call your attention to a GoFundMe campaign that has been launched to help the Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust in San Juan, Puerto Rico in aiding people and repairing homes that were …

Presentations at Land For Good’s National Conference

Presentations at Land For Good’s National Conference

Jim Oldham, Executive Director of Equity Trust, and Program Associate Johanna Rosen will be attending and presenting at “Changing Lands, Changing Hands,” a national conference on farm and ranch access, tenure and transfer, hosted by Land For Good in cooperation with USDA, in Denver, Colorado, June 13-15, 2017.

Jim will participate in two sessions: the first, Shared Ownership,

Announcing a Pair of March 2017 Publications by John Emmeus Davis

Announcing a Pair of March 2017 Publications by John Emmeus Davis

Affordable for Good: Building Inclusive Communities through Homes that Last

Habitat for Humanity International (2017)

Every other year, Habitat for Humanity International publishes a “shelter report” highlighting an innovation in policy or practice which Habitat’s 1500 affiliates in the USA are encouraged to consider for incorporation into their own programs.  For its 2017 Shelter Report, Habitat enlisted the support of …

Land Access Innovations Trainings in North Carolina

Land Access Innovations Trainings in North Carolina

Jim Oldham, Executive Director of Equity Trust, will help lead a pair of training events in North Carolina with the National Young Farmers Coalition in March 2017.

 

 

 

FOR LAND TRUSTS

Mills River, North Carolina – March 8, 2017

This all-day training is intended for land trust staff and other regional conservation professionals who are involved in farmland …

New York State Announces Awards for Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program

press conference for award announcement in barn

Three farms that are partnering with Equity Trust’s Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Program were among 28 farms awarded grants under New York State’s first-ever regionally targeted grant program for farmland protection. The $20 million in awards announced May 3, 2016 provides funding for preservation of agricultural lands, protecting more than 5,600 acres of active farmland in seven counties through permanent …

New Report Shares Funders’ Perspectives on Secure Land for Urban Agriculture

Gardening The Community

In 2013, Equity Trust launched the Secure Land for Urban Agriculture initiative within our Farms for Farmers Program to explore and address the issue of land tenure for urban agriculture. In the first phase of work, we interviewed and hosted a gathering of representatives from urban agriculture organizations and their allies to more fully understand their land tenure needs and …

Talking with Funders about Secure Land for Urban Agriculture

Talking with Funders about Secure Land for Urban Agriculture

This fall, as part of Equity Trust’s Secure Land for Urban Agriculture initiative, we are partnering with foundations and funder groups to promote dialogue about land and urban agriculture. We aim to raise awareness of the critical issue of land tenure to the viability of a wide range of farm- and garden-based programs related to health and nutrition, youth …

Two more farms protected by Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Program

Delapenta farmscape

Equity Trust is pleased to report that two Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Program projects recently closed, helping to protect the farmers’ continued access to their land as well as the affordability of the land through future transfers. Both projects involved partnership with Scenic Hudson and Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC).

 

Delapenta Farm 

In June 2015, we supported the acquisition of …

Remembering Juanita Nelson

Remembering Juanita Nelson

Photo credit: Ed Hedemann

Juanita Morrow Nelson (August 17, 1923 – March 9, 2015) was “an ardent pacifist, war tax resister, civil rights activist and supporter of local, organic agriculture.”[1] Juanita was a mentor to Equity Trust’s founder Chuck Matthei, and her deeply held values helped to shape Equity Trust as an organization. We wish to honor Juanita’s …

Equity Trust promotes farmer friendly leases in Connecticut

Equity Trust promotes farmer friendly leases in Connecticut

This summer, Equity Trust presented a workshop on “Building Equity in Farm Leasing” as part of UConn Extension’s Scaling Up Program for Beginning Farmers, held at the Wethersfield Historical Society on July 23, 2015.

Rebecca Fletcher and Johanna Rosen led participants in an exploration of the benefits of Equity Trust’s ground lease model of land tenure, which provides lessee …

Shelterforce blog post promotes permanent affordability

In What Would it Look Like to Win?, Rick Jacobus’ May 6, 2015 post on Rooflines, the Shelterforce Blog, he writes:

We should not have to pay for [affordable] access more than once. We should own the land... In every part of the country public and nonprofit agencies are investing in rental and ownership properties that will remain …

Approaches to Farmland Preservation in the Northeast

Approaches to Farmland Preservation in the Northeast

Jim Oldham, Executive Director of Equity Trust, will present at Community Food Funder’s Farmland Access & Preservation Working Group briefing in New York, Wednesday April 29, 2015.

This is a funder-only event with invited guests; however, the event will be livestreamed (contact adam@northstarfund.org for login info).

Jim will present along with Steve Rosenberg, Senior Vice President, Scenic Hudson, and …

Two presentations at American Farmland Trust’s National Conference

Two presentations at American Farmland Trust's National Conference

Jim Oldham, Executive Director of Equity Trust, will participate in two panel presentations at Farmland, Food and Livable Communities, American Farmland Trust’s National Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, October 20-22, 2014.

The first session will cover Land Access and Securing Affordable Farmland with Kathy Ruhf, Executive Director, Land for Good and Equity Trust Board member (moderator); Jim Oldham, Executive

Stone Ridge Orchard and Equity Trust’s Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Program featured in Country Wisdom News

Stone Ridge Orchard and Equity Trust's Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Program featured in Country Wisdom News

Elizabeth Ryan proudly displays the apples growing at the Stone Ridge Orchard.

“The saving of the Stone Ridge Orchard is a miraculous feat of community support, vision, hope, funding, and good fortune,” according to Marie Doyon’s article, “Saving the Stone Ridge Orchard” in Country Wisdom News, a regional source for age-old and modern thoughts on food, the …

Equity Trust borrowers repay loans

Equity Trust borrowers repay loans

Two innovative small farms and a nonprofit community development group repaid their Equity Trust loans this summer, with thanks to the Equity Trust lending community that made those loans possible.

Whippoorwill Farm was the first CSA farm on Martha’s Vineyard, almost twenty-five years ago. Now there are many! Lockhart Family Farm brought the CSA model to the “slow meat” movement…

2015 Land Access Innovation Training

2015 Land Access Innovation Training

As part of our Farms for Farmers program, Equity Trust is partnering with the National Young Farmers Coalition to offer training for land trusts focused on preserving affordable farms.

Access to farmland remains one of the biggest barriers for beginning farmers. Strategies such as conservation easements with an option to purchase at agricultural value (OPAV) and long-term ground leases that …

Roots & Branches: new website on the CLT movement

Roots & Branches: new website on the CLT movement

Announcing the launch of a new website put together by Greg Rosenberg and John Emmeus Davis: Roots & Branches: A Gardener’s Guide to the Origins and Evolution of the Community Land Trust. Found at www.cltroots.org, it features dozens of colorful graphics by Bonnie Acker, enlivening a digital archive of photographs, videos, interviews, and documents. This collection will grow richer …

Developing Models for Predictable Land Tenure – Panel at Vacant Acres Symposium in April

Developing Models for Predictable Land Tenure – Panel at Vacant Acres Symposium in April

Johanna Rosen, Program Associate at Equity Trust, participated in a panel discussion on Developing Models for Predictable Land Tenure at the “Turning Vacant Acres into Community Resources” Symposium put on by 596 Acres, April 22-23 at The New School, NY.

Read more details here.

This session provided an overview of models that take communities past temporary access and land …

Equity Trust featured on Civil Eats

“One thing that makes Equity Trust radical is its focus not just on the active preservation of land, but on the challenge of evolving social values about what property ownership should look like.” This quote comes from Antonio Roman-Alcalá as he featured Equity Trust as one of “Five Groups Working to Help New Farmers Access Land” on Civil

Tools and Techniques for Farmland Conservation–Panel at NYS Land Conservation Summit in April

Tools and Techniques for Farmland Conservation--Panel at NYS Land Conservation Summit in April

 

Jim Oldham, Director of Equity Trust, will participate in a panel discussion on Tools and Techniques for Farmland Conservation at the NYS Land Conservation Summit, April 10-11 in West Point, NY.

Details: http://nyslandsummit.org/.

This session will provide an overview of tools and techniques that can be used to protect active agricultural land. Panelists will present the challenges faced …

Workshop at the Farming Our Future Conference – February 22 in NY

Workshop at the Farming Our Future Conference - February 22 in NY

Jim Oldham, Director of Equity Trust, will be presenting at the February 22, 2014 Farming Our Future Conference in Columbia County, NY. Conference details: http://www.farmingourfuture.org/.

Jim will join Marissa Codey of the Columbia Land Conservancy to lead a workshop about farmland access strategies used by conservation organizations. Marissa will describe how the Conservancy helps make farmland available to farmers …

Stone Soup Ribbon Cutting

Stone Soup Ribbon Cutting Stone Soup Community Center celebrated the near completion of the Green Rebuild and Collaborative Training Project with a Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

Young Farmers Coalition report: how land trusts can protect working farms

Young Farmers Coalition report: how land trusts can protect working farms

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) released a report entitled “Farmland Conservation 2.0: How Land Trusts Can Save America’s Working Farms.” The report outlines the ways that current farmland conservation practices are failing to keep land in production and farmland affordable to farmers. The report highlights innovative farmland conservation models and reinforces Equity Trust’s message of the importance …

New London Homeless Hospitality Center celebrates the opening of its new facility

New London Homeless Hospitality Center celebrates the opening of its new facility The New London Homeless Hospitality Center (NLHHC) celebrated the opening of its new facility with an Open House and Dedication event on October 16, 2013. Equity Trust Director Jim Oldham attended along with Anne Scheibner, Paul Jakoboski, and Hannah Gant of the St. Francis House (our Francis Fund partners). About 300 people attended the celebration, including Connecticut Governor Malloy.

New York Times opinion piece advocates for affordable farms

"Keep Farmland for Farmers," an important commentary in NY Times from Lindsey Lusher Shute and Benjamin Shute, Hudson Valley farmers and co-founders of the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Our office has moved

Our office has moved Equity Trust has moved our office from Turners Falls, MA to Amherst, MA to be closer to where staff live and thus reduce our commute and carbon footprint. We are delighted have found a home in the beautiful Nacul Center for Ecological Architecture, a redesigned church just a few blocks from downtown Amherst, which houses an art gallery and several offices and studios.

Live Power Community Farm Expands

Live Power Community Farm Expands Stephen and Gloria Decatur of Live Power Community Farm have negotiated a long-sought opportunity to purchase ten abutting acres to add to their 40-acre farm. Live Power Farm was the first farm Equity Trust protected, back in 1995. At that time, Equity Trust worked closely with the farmers and their CSA members to craft and purchase an innovative agricultural conservation easement that pioneered both the use of resale restrictions to preserve affordability as well as farming requirements that ensure the land will always be used to produce healthy food for the region. Now...

Dimond Hill Farm Grows

Dimond Hill Farm Grows Dimond Hill Farm, a landmark property on the outskirts of Concord, New Hampshire, stewarded by Equity Trust, has just grown its land base by almost 25%. A working farm since the 1700s, Dimond Hill was protected in 2006, through a partnership among Equity Trust, the Trust for Public Lands, Five Rivers Conservation Trust, the NH Preservation Alliance, and the City of Concord. Under the ownership structure designed to permanently protect the farm and make it affordable for future farmers, Equity Trust owns title to the farm, the Conservation Trust and the Preservation Alliance both hold easements on the property, and the land is currently farmed by sixth generation farmer Jane Presby under a lifetime agreement.

Farm Aid features Jeff and Annie Main of Good Humus Farm

Farm Aid features Jeff and Annie Main of Good Humus Farm

Jeff and Annie Main, of Good Humus Produce in Capay, CA, have been featured in an article posted on the Farm Aid website. Read about the history of their farm and about their work with Equity Trust and with One Farm at a Time, an initiative of several California food co-ops to raise funds to preserve the sustainability of …

Film screening and panel at MIT on preserving farms

Film screening and panel at MIT on preserving farms

On April 4, 2013 Executive Director Jim Oldham joined filmmaker Chuck Schultz and others at MIT in Cambridge, MA, for a screening and discussion of The Last Crop, a film-in-progress sharing the story of Jeff and Annie Main and their efforts to permanently protect their Good Humus Farm in California’s Central Valley. Equity Trust has supported this effort for years, …

Presentations on farm preservation at NOFA and National CLT Conferences

Presentations on farm preservation at NOFA and National CLT Conferences

Equity Trust shared approaches for farm preservation at the NOFA Summer Conference in August  2012 and at the National CLT Conference in September 2012. On August 12, we led a workshop on Strategies and Tools for Saving Local Farms  at the annual summer conference of NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) on the UMass campus in Amherst, MA. On September 13, …

Judith Haskel Brewer Fund makes
grant to Equity Trust Fund

In April 2012, the Judith Haskel Brewer Fund of the Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia made a $15,000 grant in support of the Equity Trust Fund.…

Impact investing report features Equity Trust Fund

Impact investing report features Equity Trust Fund

The Equity Trust Fund is one of 20 funds profiled in Promoting Sustainable Food Systems Through Impact Investing, a report by The Springcreek Foundation aimed at helping socially responsible investors “play a critical role in the establishment and maintenance of regional sustainable food systems in the United States.”

June 2011…

Saving Lands Magazine highlights Farms for Farmers

Equity Trust's work to preserve affordable farms was featured in the tools and resources section of the fall 2011 issue of the Land Trust Alliance's Saving Lands Magazine. Follow the link and scroll to the second page of the section.

FA Green reports on our farm preservation work

FA Green reports on our farm preservation work Equity Trust's farmland preservation work is featured in Follow the Food, in the March 2012 issue of FA Green, a magazine offering "strategies for sustainable, responsible, investing and giving."

Call for Stories! Please share your connection with Equity Trust or projects we have worked with

Equity Trust just celebrated our 20th anniversary! As we celebrate this history, we want to hear from you. In order to tell our story, we need yours. By gathering and sharing stories from people and organizations that have been part of this extraordinary work in one way or another, we hope to paint a broader picture of the movements we support and the vision that we share.