National Agricultural Land Network
For much of its history, AFT has provided a broad array of support to the growing agricultural land protection community—whether through regional events and national conferences, cutting-edge research and communications insights, or technical expertise and policy innovation.
In 2020, AFT launched the National Agricultural Land Network, or NALN, to further strengthen the collective capacity of public agencies, planning entities, and land trusts working to protect agricultural land.
The NALN is designed to grow the capacity and momentum needed to elevate the cause of agricultural land protection across America.
The NALN seeks to provide a high level of professional networking and support to organizations/entities and individuals directly engaged in retaining and protecting agricultural land, and those whose programs, services or public policy advocacy help to advance agricultural land protection and planning. The NALN is a learning and knowledge exchange network; it will offer policy education and updates but will not promote or take positions on specific legislation.
We welcome organizational members such as public Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement programs, private land trusts, and state and county government or quasi-governmental agencies with jurisdiction over agriculture, conservation, and/or planning. Other eligible organizational members include farm and conservation organizations, coalitions, trade associations, and service providers.
We also welcome individuals who are not affiliated with an organizational member and whose work is focused on advancing agricultural land retention and protection. Individual members may be researchers, planners, legislators, public agency staff, nonprofit organization staff, or individuals serving on public or nonprofit boards and committees that address aspects of agricultural land retention and protection.
There is no cost for membership; however, some select services, programing, or events may require a fee. Organizational members directly engaged in agricultural land protection or planning may receive preference for certain workshops and events where participation may be limited.
NALN Members - Today
The NALN is growing. We're 475 members strong. See the roster of organizational members as of 7/26/2021.NALN Membership
NALN Products and Services
The NALN uses a variety of ways to engage members. After submitting a membership form, you will be added to the NALN Online Community Platform.
- Informational Webinars: Webinars offer basic training on agricultural land protection and planning tools and techniques, relevant national research, agricultural land protection, planning and policy innovations, and updates on Agricultural Conservation Easement Program-Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP-ALE) implementation. They are recorded and housed on the NALN and Farmland Information Center webpages.
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program-Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP-ALE) Resources and Support: Resources and support for entities applying to ACEP-ALE and for landowners interested in protecting their land through the program are available through the Farmland Information Center. Webinars, the NALN community platform, and regional roundtables provide opportunities for information sharing on ACEP-ALE implementation.
- Workshops: The NALN will periodically survey NALN members on topics and needs relevant to their work. These surveys will inform workshops to facilitate deep dive learning, explore policy concepts, seek solutions around identified challenges and needs, and identify opportunities for research and program collaboration. Workshops will be limited in size to facilitate conversation. Some may be restricted to staff from organizational members.
- State and Regional Roundtables: Roundtables are designed to facilitate networking within states and regions and identify opportunities for collaboration to expand and improve program, planning, and policy work.
- Online Community Platform & Library: The community platform is a virtual space where conversation channels allow members to share successes, challenges, and information by topic, state/region, or experience level. A shared document library allows members to post relevant materials such as sample easements and easement deed terms, stewardship plans and management contracts, and land use plans and zoning ordinances.
- Network News and Technical Bulletins: NALN members receive periodic e-news with announcements about webinars, workshops, and grant opportunities, as well as federal and state legislative updates. Technical bulletins focus on hot topics, providing information and insights on specific issues.
Buy-Protect-Sell: An important tool in the farm and ranch land protection tool kit
BPS Webinar Series
Watch recordings of the NALN's Buy-Protect-Sell webinar series.
Buy-Protect-Sell is a successful strategy used by some land trusts and public agencies to protect land and facilitate its transfer to a farmer or rancher. Stepping in as an interim buyer when a farm or ranch is likely to be sold for development, a land trust or public agency will work with partners to place an easement on the property and then sell the protected property to a farmer or rancher at its agricultural value. Recognizing its value in helping young, new, and historically underserved farmers especially gain access to affordable ground, Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill specifically authorized the use of Buy-Protect-Sell through the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
"Farms Under Threat" State Webinars Recordings
The NALN hosted a series of state webinars that dug into the findings for 38 states from AFT's new report "Farms Under Threat: The State of the States". We looked at the spatial and policy scorecard findings and talked through tools available through this report to help planners, land protection practitioners, policymakers, and advocates strengthen and expand agricultural land retention and protection efforts. Records for all the webinars can be found at the link below.Find your state
The NALN is guided by a Steering Committee composed of representatives from members of the network.Steering Committee Members
Connect With Us
The NALN is directed by Cris Coffin, AFT senior policy advisor with extensive experience in state and federal agricultural and conservation policy and network creation and development. For questions about the NALN, please contact: Beth Fraser, National Agricultural Land Network Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.