This is an extra special episode where we explore alternative land access models with Ian McSweeney, Director of the Agrarian Trust. Ian has extensive experience in environmental education, real estate, farmland preservation, connecting farmers to land, and fundraising to support agrarian economies. In our discussion we cover the ins and outs of land trusts – what they are and what they do, agricultural easements – how they work and how they differ from conservation easements, and how the AT’s Agrarian Commons model of farmland access works on the state level to secure land holdings for agricultural use in perpetuity at an affordable rate for farmers. Of course, transfer of property means transfer of money, so we also touch on the fundraising and revenue generation aspects that makes the Agrarian Commons model a well-run reality.
Big questions we explore are: why work with a land trust to preserve or access farmland? And, how do we navigate the creativity AND limitations of easements on farmland?
If you’re land seeking or working in land access/farmland transitions, you’re in for a valuable conversation that’s sure to expand ideas for what is possible. Ian also shares a bunch of great land access resources with us that are linked below, so be sure to check those out!
Agrarian Commons resources:
Specific examples of…
- land access in Maine with the Little Jubba Agrarian Commons is featured in press here
- land access in West Virginia with the West Virginia Agrarian Commons is featured in press here
- land restoration on Agrarian Commons farms on Whidbey Island, WA and the Seacoast of NH as featured in blog here with more on New Hampshire Agrarian Commons