skip to Main Content
(207) 338 – 6575 info@mainefarmlandtrust.org STORE

10:30 – Noon

Breakout Session 1

Title

Description

Presenters

Content Most Appropriate For:

Preparing to Buy or Sell a Business: Advisor Perspectives

Hear from advisors who work with farmers on business transfers about how to create success for seller and buyer. This session is appropriate for farmers considering selling or purchasing a business as one pathway of farming entry or exit. Benneth Phelps will discuss an example of a non-family farm business transfer to a young farmer. Ethan Robertson will discuss creative transfer strategies. SBDC staff will discuss informal business valuation services they offer, preparing your business for sale and making a clear sale offer.

Benneth Phelps, Dirt Capital Partners; Ethan Robertson, Farm Credit East, Peter Harriman, SBDC office

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, Land Trust staff, Agricultural Service Providers

Compelling Conversations about Land Transfer

Ensuring a good match in a land transfer requires clear communication between the parties involved. Whether buying, selling or leasing, being able to articulate your vision for the farm can be challenging. What type of skills do you need to describe your vision in a clear, compelling fashion? In this session we invite participants to share success stories and challenges in establishing land access. Whether you are a land owner or a farmland seeker this session is for you! Participants will receive helpful tips, resources and guidance about how to hone their vision, develop a compelling description and approach land transfer conversations with clarity and confidence.

Abby Sadauckas, Leslie Forstadt, and Tori Jackson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Elaine Bourne, Maine Ag Mediation Program

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, General Interest

Using Conservation Easements as a Component of a Farm Purchase

To make land more affordable, many farm buyers are working with Maine Farmland Trust to sell a conservation easement as part of their land acquisition strategy. The sale of an easement simultaneously with the purchase of a property can often lower a buyer’s costs significantly. This workshop will cover the basic restrictions of agricultural conservation easements, how easements are negotiated between farmland owners and a land trust, and how simultaneous conservation easment sales work. Presenters will cover how to discuss this strategy with real estate agents and lenders, the timeframe of this process, and how compensation for a conservation easement is assessed. The session will use real examples to illustrate the impact that the sale of an easement can have on a buyer’s costs. A farmer who has recently sold a conservation easement as part of a farm purchase will participate to share their experience with participants.

Adam Bishop and Chris Cabot, Maine Farmland Trust; Conor Macdonald, Bo Lait Farm

Farm Seekers, Land Trust staff, Agricultural Service Providers, General Interest

The NYFC Affordability Calculator: A New Tool for Financial Preparedness

Accessing land and credit go hand in hand, and are often the biggest challenges that farmers face. In this workshop, NYFC will present two new resources they have created to help farmers and service providers make informed financial decisions during the process of accessing land – the Land Affordability Calculator Tool and guidebook to FSA loans. The session will include a demonstration of the Calculator Tool and an opprtunity for particpants to provide feedback and suggestions on improvements for version 2.0.

Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition

Farm Seekers, Farm Service Providers

Farm Transfer and Succession: Getting Started Right

This session will cover some of the issues surrounding farm and farmland transition, including generational transfer within a family; transfers to a non-family member, sales of farmland, and issues facing farmers and land owners without succession or transition plans.

Carrie Yardley, Yardley Esq. PLLC

Transitioning or Retiring Farmers, Non-farming and/or Institutional Landowners, General Interest  

12:45 – 2:00 pm

Breakout Session 2

Title

Description

Presenters

Content Most Appropriate For:

Protecting the Farm and the Family from Long Term Care Expenses

A looming – but often ignored – threat to the family farm is the unexpected need for long term care services. In Maine, today, an average private nursing home room costs roughly $9,000 a month. In 20 years, that’s expected to be $16,000 a month, or $192,000 a year! In this session, we’ll cover the costs of long term care, the basics of how Medicare & Medicaid work in relation to long term care, and how the various types of insurance can be used to build an affordable, effective long term care safety net for your family. Insurance may or may not be right for you, but this session will give you the facts you need to be able to make an informed decision.

Kerry Peabody, Clark Insurance

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Land Trust staff, Non-farming and/or Institutional Land Owners, General Interest, affiliated business owners

Preparing to Buy or Sell a Business: Farmer Perspectives

Farmers share their stories about purchasing farmland with an ongoing business. This session is appropriate for farmers considering selling or purchasing a business as one pathway of farming entry or exit. By attending this session you will understand some of the potential pathways and pitfalls that business transfer offers from the farmer perspective.

Benneth Phelps, Dirt Capital Partners; Ben Marcus, Sheepscot General Farm & Store; Chris Alexander, Sugar Hill Farm

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, Land Trust staff, Agricultural Service Providers

Financing your Farm Business: Pitch to the Experts

In this engaging, highly interactive and friendly ‘Shark Tank’ style session, farmland seekers will have the chance to pitch their farm business ideas to a panel of seasoned lenders and investors. This is a great opportunity to get valuable feedback on your business model, and insight into what lenders and investors look for in any farm investment. Come prepared to ask questions and challenge the experts!

Gray Harris and John Egan, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.; Scott Budde, Maine Harvest Credit Union; Lucia Brown, Farm Service Agency; Shannon Webber, Farm Credit East; Benneth Phelps, Dirt Capital Partners

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, Land Trust staff, Agricultural Service Providers

Keeping the Milk Flowing: Focus on Dairy

Dairy land and business access and transfer is especially challenging, given the high cost of animals and equipment, not to metion the very challenging market conditions currently facing the dairy sector. This session will delve into some of those challenges, and discuss some innovative approaches to coinfronting them, including the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship model currently underway at Wolfes Neck Farm in Freeport.

Rick Kersbergen, University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Mike Ghia, Land For Good; Andy Smith & Caitlin Frame, the Milkhouse; Sarah Littlefield and Josh Harlan, Wolfes Neck Farm

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, Farm Service Providers, General Interest

New Roots Community Farm: a team approach to land access services

In 2016, a number of New American farmers sought to secure farmland for their cooperative business. A nummber of service providers, including Land For Good, Maine Farmland Trust, and the Cooperative Development Institute participated in helping these farmers through this process. This session will tell the story and share lessons learned and takeaways from a challenging, but ultimately successful, farm tenure effort.

Cultivating Community

Land Trust staff, Agricultural Service Providers, Non-farming and/or Institutional Land Owners, General Interest

2:30 – 3:30 pm

Breakout Session 3

Title

Description

Presenters

Content Most Appropriate For:

Policy Panel: The Effect of Public Policy on the Generational Transfer of Farmland

This session will discuss the impact that both federal and state-level policies and programs have on farmland access and transfer. We’ll cover current Farm Bill programs and proposals for the next Farm Bill as they relate to farmland access. We will also discuss state land access policy priorities in anticipation of the next administration.

Ellen Griswold, Maine Farmland Trust; Cris Coffin Land For Good

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, Land Trust staff, Non-farming and/or Institutional Land Owners, Agricultural Service Providers, General Interest

Crafting and Maintaining Great Leases

Leasing farmland can seem a bit shaky unless you have the proper tools to make a solid lease that fits your situation. Farmland seekers, non-farming owners of farmland, farmers with an extra parcel to let and community members are invited to a discussion of how to create a farmland lease that serves both the landowner and the tenant-farmer and keeps working land active to boot. THe session will explore various types of leases with an appraisal of which types might serve in a particular situation. The word of the day will be CLARITY. Emphasis will be put on avoiding pitfalls by putting provisions in the lease that address permitted uses, prohibited uses, and stewardship requirements. The various sections of a farm lease will be looked at with an eye toward making the agreement clear to both parties.

Jo Barrett, Land For Good

Farm Seekers, Non-farming and/or Institutional Land Owners

Innovative Farm Transfers: Farmers tell their stories

This session will take a look at a few cases of innovative farmland and business transfers. We’ll hear from the farmers and the service providers who were involved in the deals and talk about models, takeaways, and lessons learned.

Gray Harris, Coastal Enterprises, Inc; Benneth Phelps, Dirt Capital Partners; John Egan, CEI; Allison Lakin, Lakin Foley Farm; Jeff Fisher, Bumbleroot

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, Land Trust staff, Agricultural Service Providers

Integrating farmland access strategies and farm viability services

VLT has developed a wide ranging set of strategies assisting new and beginning farmers access to farmland. Buy protect sell, interim financing, lease with sales agreements, ect.. VLT has a robust set of partners that assist new and beginning farmers as they scale up business on new land. This session will describe VLT farmland access strategies and how they are modified depending on the business needs of the individual farmers and how that evaluation is completed. The session will also cover VLT’s process of finding buyers or leasers for properties they work with.

Jon Ramsay, Vermont Land Trust; Mike Ghia, Land For Good

Transitioning or Retiring farmers, Farm Seekers, Land Trust staff, Agricultural Service Providers

Thinking Big on Land Access

Agrarian Trust is a US-based organization proposing a new model of land conservation based on Elinor Ostrum’s study of commons administration and the model organization Terre de Liens, which has preserved more than 200 organic farms in France.  In this session, Severine vT Fleming will explore the operating structure, methodology, and guiding principles of Agrarian Trust, seek feedback, and invite reflection and discussion. Severine will also report on OUR LAND 2, a 2016 national symposium organized by Agrarian Trust in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The gathering focused on the 400 year old Acequia (ditch) irrigation systems as a practical example durable democratic governance of a resource commons.

Severine vT Fleming, Agrarian Trust

Land Trust Staff, Ag. Service Providers, and General Interest.

Back To Top