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CLCC is excited to announce the release of a new report, Farmland Access & Ownership: An Overview of Barriers, Models, and Actions to Increase Land Access for Connecticut’s BIPOC Farmers.

CLCC, in partnership with the CT Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg), developed this report to address a critical challenge facing our state’s agricultural industry: ensuring equitable access to secure farmland for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers.

Through stakeholder insights, this report explores the challenges faced by BIPOC farmers, examines different collaborative land access models including those focused on land trusts, and proposes strategic actions to promote secure land access and ownership opportunities.

Secure land access is not only integral to the livelihoods of BIPOC farmers, but imperative in bolstering the resilience of Connecticut’s agricultural industry.

Land trusts have a crucial role to play in creating pathways for BIPOC farmer access and ownership, ensuring these efforts align both conservation goals with producer needs.

Key Partners in Equitable Land Access

Land Trusts Have a Role to Play

In examining different land access models, this report recognizes the vital role land trusts can play in helping to dismantle the barriers to secure land tenure. Land trusts can work with farmers to provide access to affordable farmland while fostering long-term ownership opportunities.

Land trusts can use various tools and methods to promote farmland access and ownership. These can include leasing farmland at affordable rates (e.g., $1 /year lease) and offering long lease terms; developing lease-to-own arrangements in which land trusts retain an easement on farmland after ownership is transferred to a farmer; or hosting farm incubator programs on conserved farmland.

As stewards of a significant portion of Connecticut’s land, land trusts are necessary partners in ensuring the future of our state’s working lands. They play a vital role in protecting these lands from development, assuring that they are kept in the hands of farmers for continued agricultural production. This not only contributes to the sustainability and resilience of local communities and their food systems, but also provides a nurturing ground for the next generation of farmers.

By fostering access to land, land trusts can help secure a vibrant and viable future for Connecticut’s agricultural industry.

Paving A Path Forward

Strategic Actions for Increased Farmland Access

This report outlines nine strategic actions and key steps the state’s agricultural stakeholders (e.g., CT DoAg, farmers, land trusts, etc.) can undertake to ensure secure land tenure becomes a reality for BIPOC farmers. These include:

  1. Increasing CT DoAg’s capacity
  2. Creating land ownership initiatives
  3. Supporting agriculture on non-prime farmlands
  4. Promoting collaborative relationships between BIPOC farmers and other agricultural stakeholders
  5. Expanding land access and ownership support programs
  6. Fostering partnerships between land trusts and BIPOC farmers
  7. Engaging municipalities in land access efforts
  8. Exploring the feasibility of Option to Purchase at Agricultural Values
  9. Improving access to and establishing safety nets for BIPOC farmers

Get Involved!

We believe this report will be a valuable resource for policymakers, land trusts, farmers, and all those invested in creating a more equitable and sustainable agricultural system.

You can download the full report and learn more about the project by visiting the CT DoAg website here.

We encourage you to explore the report’s findings and identify opportunities for your land trust to champion land access for BIPOC farmers in your community. We are here to help. Together, we can build a landscape where all Connecticut farmers have the opportunity to cultivate their dreams and contribute to a thriving food system.

Access the report »

Read the full eNews »

Yaw Owusu Darko
Project Specialist
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