Farmers SpeakJune 10, 2019

New: Healthy Farm Partnerships Project

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The Healthy Farm Partnerships Project

Farming with a spouse presents a complex layering of business and personal values, interests, assets, and goals. As such, Farm Commons has launched a new initiative in support of healthy farm partnerships. 

Our staff member Eva is the lead for this project, as she knows firsthand about the complexities of being in a farm partnership.

She and her former husband began Heartstrong Farm in 2017 on 16 acres of leased land in North Carolina. Though they formed an LLC, put together a robust CSA program and supporting membership agreement, they did not have in place processes for allocating business responsibilities, methods for valuing equity in the farm business, or an exit strategy.

“Once we separated, I realized how much we had left to assumption – ownership of tools and equipment, access to the farm property, and equity in the farm business. It was really tricky separating and making clear those things once we broke up. Things were so tricky I wasn’t sure the farm business would even continue. Thankfully it did, with the support of my amazing CSA community and many loved ones, but it was still a really tough row to hoe, as they say.”

Now growing forward from these experiences, Eva has minimized her farm business to a size that serves her quality of life goals, and maintains clear processes for communication, record-keeping, and valuation of equity. She’s also passionate about supporting others farming with loved ones to cultivate healthy, legally resilient farm partnerships through her work at Farm Commons.

If you feel called to share with us your farm partnership story in confidence, we would love to hear and learn from you. Our hope is that we may co-create a legal educational resource to best support farmers in growing healthier farm partnerships forward. We are open to both break-up learnings as well as those navigating their farm partnership forward. 

To schedule a time to share your story in confidence, email our Outreach + Education Manager Eva at eva@farmcommons.org.

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