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 farmers with the ability to build equity in their farms. Using case studies and stories, the group discussed issues around housing, affordability, affirmative farming requirements, stewardship costs, monitoring and enforcement, and transfers.
More than twenty people from organizations including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Connecticut Farmland Trust, Farm Service Agency, Connecticut Department of Agriculture, American Farmland Trust, Working Lands Alliance, Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association, Land for Good, and local land trusts, as well as private landowners, took part. It is our hope that increasing awareness of alternative land tenure options will lead to implementation of innovative approaches to ensuring affordability of farmland and the ability of farmers to build equity in farm properties in Connecticut.