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.
Upcoming webinar: Buy-Protect-Sell 101
Register to Attend
Join us Friday, December 11 from 1:00 – 2:30 (EST) to learn more.
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.
Are you considering a Buy-Protect-Sell project, or just want to learn more? If so, join AFT President and CEO John Piotti and a panel of practitioners from around the country for an introduction to BPS. We’ll discuss ways that projects can be financed and structured, and how practitioners identify and work with farm buyers to help provide the support they need to succeed. Hear stories of success and challenges practitioners should be prepared for. And come prepared with plenty of questions!
Panelists include –
John Piotti, CEO and President, American Farmland Trust
Maggie Donin, Farmland Access Program Manager, Vermont Land Trust
Susan Payne, Executive Director, State of New Jersey Department of Agriculture State Agriculture Development Committee
Robin Fay, Senior Conservation Manager, Washington Farmland Trust
Stacy Funderburke, Regional Counsel and Conservation Acquisition Associate, The Conservation Fund
Adam Bishop, Farmland Protection Program Director, Maine Farmland Trust
Facilitator: Cris Coffin, NALN Director and Senior Policy Advisor
NALN Members - Today
The NALN is growing. See the membership roster as of 11/24/2020.NALN Membership
The NALN is guided by a Steering Committee composed of representatives from members of the network.Steering Committee Members
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 Services and Products
The NALN plans to use a variety of ways to engage members. After submitting a membership form, we’ll be in touch about the following products and services we plan to offer.
- Informational Webinars: Webinars will 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 will be 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 will be available through the Farmland Information Center. Webinars, the NALN community platform, and regional roundtables will 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 will be designed to facilitate networking within states and regions and identify opportunities for collaboration to expand and improve program, planning, and policy work. Participation will be via application and may be limited in size to facilitate conversation.
- Online Community Platform & Library: The community platform will be 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 will allow 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 will receive periodic e-news with announcements about webinars, workshops, and grant opportunities, as well as federal and state legislative updates. Technical bulletins will focus on hot topics, providing information and insights on specific issues.
"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" (with a final webinar for Arizona to be hosted on 10/21). 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
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.