2018 marked the fourth year for the Farmland Access & Transfer conference hosted by Land for Good and MFT. The conference is meant for farm seekers, retiring farmers, landowners, and service providers. Attendees learn strategies for keeping their farmland in production; including how to tackle succession planning, how to find and secure farmland of their own, how to negotiate a good lease agreement, and more. This year, the conference welcomed about 150 people, about a quarter of whom were folks looking for farmland.

The conference began with some stories “from the field”. Stacy Brenner, of Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, and BrennaMae Thomas Googins, of Patch Farm in Denmark, shared their personal stories of how these farmers found and gained access to their farmland, and how they intend to transfer it to the next generation. Their insights set the tone for the day and reminded all attendees that the process of finding or transferring land is often intertwined with numerous relationships, finances, and other deeply personal and sometimes challenging topics.

The 2018 Farmland Access & Transfer Conference was made possible by all of our wonderful presenters and our generous sponsors:  American Farmland TrustMaine Harvest Credit UnionDepartment of Agriculture Conservation & ForestryLegal Food HubMaine Organic Farmers and GardenersCultivating CommunityCooperative Development InstituteParis Farmers Union, and Food Solutions New England.

If you attended the conference and would like to provide feedback, please take a minute to take an online evaluation. We’re already looking forward to planning next year’s conference; your feedback about what you liked, what you didn’t, and what we can do better is important to us and will inform next year’s planning efforts.

Here’s what attendees are saying about the conference:

-“This is one of the best conferences I have attended. Really good information that I can immediately put to use, need to research further, need to act on.”

-“My partner and I are already thinking about how we can keep business records to use later in loan paperwork.”

-“My sincere thanks and appreciation for events like these. Networking, information sharing, and continuing education and support is essential to the success of small farms and businesses.”

 
**In case you missed the conference, make sure to watch Stacy Brenner and BrennaMae Thomas Googins’s
plenary stories below!**