You already understand the importance of having a written lease for your farm or ranch, but now the big question is: How do you actually create one? With so many options out there – hire a lawyer, go through an online legal service, use a template form on the internet, etc. – it can be overwhelming to make this happen. We’re here to help you minimize the overwhelm and get you started on creating a lease that meets your goals.

Although we understand the allure, we don’t recommend going right to a template form. Instead, start with our free Agricultural Lease Agreement Basics which will provide you with key insights into how to begin lease discussions along with tips for negotiating terms that are most important to you.

If you’re preparing for lease negotiations and want further guidance on what to discuss, read Powerful Questions to Prepare for an Agricultural Lease. This guide provides you with 43 key questions to discuss with your landlord or farm tenant when creating an agricultural lease agreement. Use it with our free Sharing Responsibilities in a Farmland Lease Basics, which offers a starting point on allocating responsibilities between leasing farmer and landowner.

When everyone is on the same page about the details, we’re ready to write it down. A model lease can help guide that process. We have a model lease, annotated with helpful explanations throughout, in our Long-Term Agroforestry Lease Workbook (73pgs.). Now don’t let the “Agroforestry” name throw you off. This guide was written with agroforestry operations in mind simply because they have extra-complex legal mechanics. The model lease is very useful and easily adapted to any type of farm or ranch operation. This workbook also includes a checklist of issues to think about and discuss in the lead up to writing the lease, expanded for long-term scenarios.

We have a second lease template in our Incubator Farm Lease Toolbox which takes a bit more hands-on approach as is common when running a business incubator or subletting to other farmers. For less detailed and un-annotated leases, we often turn to the templates offered by

If you’d prefer step-by-step guidance that walks you through creating an agricultural lease that addresses your particular needs and goals use our Farmers’ Workbook for Creating an Agricultural Lease. This online, fillable workbook is chock-full of exercises, information, and prompts to help you clarify goals, work through tricky legal concepts, and value contributions as a tenant.

For an interactive learning experience on your own schedule, take our self-paced course Developing Your Personalized Agricultural Lease. This self-paced course helps landlords and tenants develop a personalized agricultural lease by identifying key questions they need to address in negotiations.