Thirty-two percent of Pacific Northwest farmland is set to change hands in the next 15 years. In Washington state specifically, over 75 percent of farmers over 65 lack a succession plan or identified heir. At the same time, the ranks of beginning farmers have steadily declined and access to affordable land is listed as the top barrier for new and beginning farmers.

AFT is creating and delivering trainings and resources to support a new generation of farmers and landowners in the Pacific Northwest. In is critical they can earn a living and make a life on the land—and keep land in agriculture.

Farmland for the Next Generation Training Program

AFT’s Pacific Northwest Farmland for the Next Generation program is creating new resources and expanding a network of agricultural service providers across Washington. The newly forming network will be trained to help new and beginning farmers navigate paths to land access and make informed land access decisions.

This project builds on AFT’s Farmland for the Next Generation land access curriculum and will focus on building the coaching and relational skills that underpin a successful technical assistance relationship.

The overarching goals of the training are to:
1. To ensure a new generation of farmers and ranchers can secure land to support viable agricultural operations and
2. To foster an expanding network of skilled agricultural service providers who offer training and technical assistance to support land access for farmers and ranchers in the Pacific Northwest.

The 8-part training series will cover topics including systemic barriers to land access, financial readiness, finding and assessing land, leasing and purchasing land, and non-traditional land access strategies. The course will also cover skill areas including active listening and coaching, working across cultural and linguistic differences, and facilitation.

AFT recognizes that farmers and ranchers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as producers from other marginalized groups, face systemic and institutional barriers to accessing land. Participants in the Pacific Northwest Farmland for the Next Generation training will examine those barriers, reflect on how white privilege and power dynamics can manifest in a technical assistance relationship, and explore ways to specifically support BIPOC producers in navigating challenges to land access.

AFT will invite approximately 24 service providers to join the cohort. The selection process will take into account factors such as geography, ability to use the training to serve farmers in the future, and the diversity the applicants and the farmers they serve.

The application period closed Monday, November 15th.

Applicants will receive notification of their selection status by Monday, December 20th. The 8 training sessions will take place virtually on a weekly basis starting the week of January 31st, 2022. There is no cost to participate.

 

For questions about the training program

Contact: Addie Candib, PNW Regional Director, at acandib@farmland.org