Land Matching

Land matching lets our rural communities have a brighter future, by letting young farmers work the land.  

Land matching keeps our family farms strong. It keeps our rural communities vibrant. It ensures that the American independent farmer is here to stay.

NEW FARMER/RANCHER BENEFITS

  • gain access to land
  • find help with financing
  • learn from experienced landowners

LANDOWNER BENEFITS

  • tax incentives and other financial benefits
  • ease transition into retirement
  • ensure the continuity of a farm’s operation and legacy
  • bring fresh energy and strong hands to work on the farm

EVERYBODY BENEFITS

  • small family farms continue a proud American tradition
  • rural communities thrive with new farm families

Land matching is a great way for new farmers to get started, for retiring farmers to make sure their operation will continue long into the future, and for rural communities to stay strong.

How do matching programs work?

All matching programs work a little differently, but the basics are the same:

  1. Sign up: The program compiles lists of new farmers and of landowners who want to link.
  2. Match time: Usually, the new farmer must contact a landowner.
  3. Talk about it: Both parties get to know each other and decide whether/how to link.

Think before you link: Most application forms ask about participants’ assets, experience, and goals. Both landowners and beginners need to know what they want to get out of a linking relationship before they start trying to work it out with each other. This worksheet for beginners and this worksheet for landowners will help you describe what you're looking for and what assets you bring to the discussion. Before you link, you should:

  • Know what you want and need
  • Be flexible where you can and firm on what you need

Most programs focus on specific states or regions, so new farmers can find matches in the area where they want to farm. Some matching programs work with farmers nationwide.

Looking for even more opportunities? Use your acquaintance network to build connections in the area you want to farm. Anyone—family, friends, business acquaintances, extension agents, real estate agents, postmasters, feed store staff, and more—can be your “in” to a farm transition opportunity. The more people you build relationships with and the more people know you’re looking for and seriously committed to a farming or ranching opportunity, the better your chance of being in the right place at the right time to access that opportunity.

Find a Linking Program

Farmer and rancher linking programs connect new farmers with retiring landowners. When the new and retiring generation match up, they can work out mutually beneficial arrangements to transfer ownership while maintaining a small farm’s legacy and promoting good stewardship.

National Farmer and Rancher Linking Programs

Gardener Linking Program

Linking Programs by State/Region

Arkansas
Farm Link of Arkansas

California
California FarmLink 

Colorado
Guidestone Land-Link
Healthy Community Food Systems' Land Link

Connecticut
Connecticut FarmLink
New England Land Link
New England Farmland Finder

Florida
Florida Farm Finder

Georgia
Georgia FarmLink

Idaho
Idaho Farm Link

Illinois
The Land Connection (accepts national listings)
Northeast Illinois FarmLink

Iowa
ISU Beginning Farmer Center, Farm On
Practical Farmers of Iowa PFInd-A-Farmer

Maine
Maine Farmlink
New England Land Link
New England Farmland Finder

Maryland
Maryland FarmLINK
Montgomery Countryside Alliance, Land Link Montgomery

Massachusetts
New England Land Link
New England Farmland Finder
Tufts University New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

Minnesota
Land Stewardship Project
Minnesota Farm Link

Montana
Farm Link Montana

Nebraska
Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Connections

New England
New England Land Link (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT)
New England Farmland Finder

New Hampshire
Land For Good
Tufts University New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
New England Land Link
New England Farmland Finder

New Jersey
New Jersey Land Link

New Mexico
New Mexico LandLink

New York
Catskills FarmLink
Hudson Valley Farmland Finder
New England Land Link
Columbia Land Conservancy
Farmland for a New Generation New York

North Carolina
NC FarmLink
WNC FarmLink

Ohio
Countryside Conservancy Farmlink

Oregon
iFarm Oregon

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Farm Link, Inc.
PA Department of Agriculture Center for Farm Transitions

Rhode Island
New England Land Link
New England Farmland Finder

Tennessee
TN Farm Link

Texas
Farmshare Austin
Shared Earth (city gardens in the US)

Vermont
Land Link Vermont
New England Land Link
New England Farmland Finder

Virginia
Virginia Farm Link

Washington
Washington FarmLink
Seattle Urban Gardenshare

Wisconsin
Southern Wisconsin Land Link
Southwest Badger RC&D land access program
The Land Connection (accepts national listings)

Canada
Canada FarmLINK