Build a Legacy with Land Link

Inspired men and women who want to farm or ranch contact the Center for Rural Affairs daily. They come from different backgrounds and locations, each looking to enter agriculture. We also get inquires from landowners nearing retirement, looking for a way to continue the legacy of their farm or ranch and ensure their land is farmed in a sustainable, responsible way.

Nearly twenty years ago, the Center created Land Link, recognizing the enormous potential for collaboration between beginners and retiring farmers. The process of matching beginning farmers and ranchers with retiring landowners starts with a beginner or landowner contacting the Center. Beginners and landowners then complete an application and define their goals.  Information on landowners is compiled and shared with beginners and the linking process begins.

The Land Link concept was duplicated by states and nonprofits across the country, with 33 linking programs currently up and running. Over the years, however, landowner interest in Lank Link has waned but participation by beginners has remained strong, with often 10 times more beginners than landowners on the Land Link list.

We recently received a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant from the USDA to enhance our work with beginning farmers and ranchers. As always, we want to hear from beginners, landowners interested in linking, and anyone with thoughts to share on how we can make the most of Lank Link... just contact me, Virginia Wolking, at the Center for Rural Affairs, virginiaw@cfra.org or 402.687.2103 x 1017.