Farmers are known for handshake deals and agreements based on folks keeping their word. They’d rather get hands on a pile of manure than a pile of paperwork. But, when it comes to farmland leasing, little paperwork can prevent a pile of trouble down the road… We’ve got a helpful couple of resources that sheds light on just why a written lease is so helpful for you. Check out our free Farmland Leasing Basics, which answers this very question (amongst several others). You can also listen to our free Podcast Episode Four: Write it Down! Farmland Leases (27min.), which also focuses on this very important question.

For those farmers ready to dig deep into the importance of creating a written lease, and also interested in getting into the weeds on what to include in your written lease, we have a tutorial for you! Watch or listen to our Farmland Leases Built to Last: Content and Legal Context (2hrs.).

Many folks turn to models and templates to help the writing process. At Farm Commons we emphasize good planning and conversation more than using a template, but we do have a model for adaptation. Browse our Long-Term Agroforestry Lease Workbook (73pgs.) and check out the model or template farmland lease. It’s fully annotated to help readers understand exactly why the lease is written as it is. The helpful narrative allows farmers and ranchers to understand how they might adapt the language to their unique circumstances. Don’t be turned off by the “agroforestry” title! It’s useful for everyone. For less detailed and un-annotated leases, we often turn to the templates offered by