Understanding Non-Operating Landlords: Opportunities for farmland stewardship and succession planning in Washington and beyond

August 17, 2020

Nearly 48% of farmland in Washington State is rented or leased, often from agricultural landowners, or non-operating landlords (NOLs). There is a common perception that farmland protection and conservation are harder on rented land. The truth is, we don’t know much about these NOLS or their views on conservation. At American Farmland Trust, we set out to learn who NOLs are, understand their land management decision-making processes, and improve our outreach and engagement with them and their tenants in order to improve conservation outcomes on rented lands. In 2018-2019, AFT surveyed NOLs in 11 states, including Washington. The resulting full report includes an assessment of differences across states, between men and women NOLs, and those with farming experience and those without. Join us on August 17th at 1 PM to learn more about the findings from our Washington survey, and key highlights from the national report. Participants will gain critical insight on and outreach strategies for this often-overlooked stakeholder group in farmland conservation and preservation.

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Understanding and Activating Non-Operator Landowners: Full Report

The full report provides numerous findings that help us understand NOLs and challenge some commonly made assumptions, including (1) they care only about the bottom (financial) line, and (2) they do not care about the land. Our results suggest there are several factors more important to the NOLs in our study than financial considerations, and many of these factors revolve around conservation and farmland preservation.

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