Farmland Advisors New Jersey: A Training Program for Professionals Working with Farmers to Access and Transfer Farmland

Progress report for ENE18-152

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2018: $74,133.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2021
Grant Recipient: American Farmland Trust
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
David Haight
American Farmland Trust
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Project Information

Performance Target:

Performance target for service providers
15 professionals in New Jersey who become prepared to advise beginning farmers in accessing farmland and senior farmers and non-farming landowners in providing access to or transferring farmland will teach 250 farmers about options, and help 50 farmers take steps to access or transfer farmland.

Performance target for farmers
50 farmers who manage/aspire to manage 1,000 acres take steps to access or transfer farmland such as completing a farmland suitability or farm transfer readiness assessment or making listings on the NJ LandLink website.

Introduction:

One of the greatest challenges facing beginning farmers in New Jersey is securing access to farmland. Purchasing farmland is difficult as the state is home to some of the most expensive farmland in America, ranking second with an average of $12,800 per acre. Leasing farmland can also be difficult as short-term leases that are commonly available offer little security to beginning farmers. Even the 230,000 acres of permanently protected farmland can be unaffordable for new farmers to purchase.

Despite that 40% of farmland in New Jersey is rented, opportunities for secure farm leases are scarce. Short term leases discourage capital investments or use of sustainable practices. Landowners may also prefer less intensive types of agriculture. Available farm leasing opportunities can also be distant from desired markets.

At the same time, farm transfers are often difficult due to family, business, legal and tax issues, and farms are at risk of being lost to development. 277,000 acres of farmland has been lost to real estate development in New Jersey since the 1980s.

Farmland Advisors New Jersey: A Training Program for Professionals Working with Farmers to Access and Transfer Farmland will directly address these problems by training a network of diverse professionals to educated and support beginning farmers as they search for land, as well as senior farmers and non-farming landowners, to help them to make their land available to beginning farmers.

Educational Approach

Educational approach:

Farmland Advisors New Jersey: A Training Program for Professionals Working with Farmers to Access and Transfer Farmland will train a network of diverse professionals to educated and support beginning farmers as they search for land, as well as senior farmers and non-farming landowners, to help them to make their land available to beginning farmers.

A coach or an advisor can play a key role in supporting beginning farmers in finding viable farmland options and in motivating and educating farmland owners around transitioning their land to a new generation. The Farmland Advisors Program is deploying a progressive “train the trainer” approach to build professional capacity for service providers to fill this role in New Jersey and better address these issues surrounding accessing and transferring farmland. The curriculum includes a combination of webinars, full day workshops, peer to peer networking calls, and consultations with a professional coach. AFT will be utilizing the new Land Access Training curriculum developed by its national Farms for the Next Generation initiative team through a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program grant.

In consultation with the Farmland Advisors New Jersey Advisory Committee and AFT national staff, two additional preparatory webinars have been added to the series of three topical webinar and workshop combinations originally proposed. This resulted in an overall schedule adjustment for the delivery of the webinars and workshops, as further detailed in the milestones section of this report. These two new webinars are:
– Introduction to Farmland Advisors New Jersey: AFT staff led a one-hour webinar to facilitate virtual participant introductions, review of commitments, timeline and expectations, and introduce the Learning Action Plan
– Overview of Performance Based Learning: A curriculum development consultant from Worldwide Instructional Design System, whom was contracted to help design AFT’s national Land Access Training program, will join AFT staff to discuss the curriculum approach to educate, motivate and practice and why specifically it’s valuable for professionals addressing issues of farmland access and transfer.
Ultimately, Farmland Advisors New Jersey will a diverse group of professionals with the knowledge, hands-on and “soft” skills, professional networks and personal coaching to successfully assist beginning farmers, senior farmers and non-farming landowners to address the critical need of keeping farmers on the land in New Jersey.

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

RECRUITMENT
1. At least 100 professionals learn about the program through recruitment announcements.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
100
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
200
Proposed Completion Date:
April 30, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
June 30, 2018
Accomplishments:

Completed by June 30, 2018 because of schedule adjustments, AFT coordinated direct outreach among the 15 Farmland Advisors New Jersey Advisory Committee members to reach professionals across the state, including contacts within the land trust, cooperative extension, and Farm Bureau networks. 

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

2. 25 professionals apply to participate in the program.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
25
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
1
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
17
Proposed Completion Date:
May 31, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
June 30, 2018
Accomplishments:

AFT received 18 applications for the Farmland Advisors New Jersey program, including one from a beginning farmer. Professional that applied included staff from county Rutgers Cooperative Extension teams, food and agricultural nonprofits, state and local land trusts, and state and federal agencies. This was completed by June 30, 2018 because of schedule adjustments.

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

PRE-TRAINING ENGAGEMENT
3. 15 professionals are accepted into the program by June 2018 (with a desire for diversity among participants including race, gender, geography, type of organization) and complete a survey to assess competencies in farmland access and transfers.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
15
Proposed Completion Date:
July 31, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 16, 2018
Accomplishments:

Thanks to the outreach conducted by the Farmland Advisors New Jersey Advisory committee, AFT accepted 15 participants into the program in September 2018 and included a public announcement via press release (https://www.farmland.org/press-releases/american-farmland-trust-selects-farmland-advisors-for-advanced-training-in-new-jersey). Participants were accepted by September 7, 2018 and the survey was completed December 16, 2018. The Farmland Advisors New Jersey participants are:
• Cali Alexander, M.A., H.O.
• Gillian Armstrong, Agricultural Resource Specialist, New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee
• Amanda Brockwell, Director of Programs and Outreach, Monmouth Conservation Foundation
• Kendrya Close, Executive Director, Foodshed Alliance
• Katherine Coyle, Director, Morris County Agriculture Development Board
• Gabi Grunstein, Agricultural Service Provider
o Applied as an individual, but currently serving as County Executive Director for Monmouth, Mercer and Middlesex Counties State Communication Coordinator for USDA Farm Service Agency
• Adrian Hyde, Executive Director, NOFA-NJ
• Tara Kenyon, Principal, Kenyon Planning, LLC
• David Kimmel, Agricultural Resource Specialist, New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee
• Melanie Mason, Land Steward, New Jersey Conservation Foundation
• Jennifer Matthews, program associate I, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cumberland and Cape May County
• Meredith Melendez, Agricultural Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County
• Rebecca Szotak, Program Associate II, Agriculture, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Camden County
• Laura Tessieri, Associate Director, North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council
• Edward Wengryn, Research Associate, New Jersey Farm Bureau

These professionals were invited to participate in the Farmland Advisors New Jersey training program based on the following criteria:
– Commitment to participating in all aspects of the training over the three-year period
– Experience working with different communities of farmers and farmland owners
– Geographic diversity within the state
– Organizational diversity

The pre-survey was delayed in order to correspond with the two additional webinars and closed on December 16, 2018. Participants were asked to rate their knowledge and experience within certain topics, and expressed the most need in learning more about:
• Aiding farmers in assessing financial readiness in finding farmland (69%)
• Communications and negotiation between farmers and landowners (54%)
• Working with farmland investors (85%)
• Estate planning for farm transfer (77%)

NE-SARE-NJ-Morning-Ag-Press

Milestone #4 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

4. 15 professionals complete personal Learning Action Plans (LAPs) outlining goals for their participation in the program and intended ways that they will apply program concepts. LAPs will be updated after future in-person trainings to enable participants to reflect on the program curriculum and the connection with their personal goals.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
12
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
April 8, 2019
Accomplishments:

FA-NJ-Learning-Action-Plan_November-2018

The introduction of personal LAPs was adjusted to coincide with the first webinar on November 29, 2018. The second half of the webinar presented the LAP tool to the Farmland Advisors. First drafts are due to AFT in advance of the second webinar on January 9 and will be used to further refine the subsequent webinars and workshops. In total, 12 out of 15 trainees participated in the first webinar. The proposed completion date has been changed to January 9, 2019.

January 2020 Update: During the second introductory webinar on January 9 participants discussed questions and reflections about the process of creating their LAPs. AFT received about half of LAPs prior to the first in-person training on April 8, 2019 and gave time for Farmland Advisors to work on LAPs at the training on April 8. At each of the following workshops, Farmland Advisors were asked to reflect on their LAPs and update them with any new ideas or plans to support farmers and farmland owners, and received final versions from 12 Farmland Advisors by December 4, 2019. LAPs were collected for all Farmland Advisors who received Implementation Stipends – the two participants who did not submit LAPs were unable to accept the stipend.

In their Learning Action Plans, participants expressed a desire to develop a network of experts and strengthen relationships with one another in order to share resources going forward. Participants also wanted to learn more about issues related to land access – like financial and personal readiness, education opportunities for new and experienced farmers in New Jersey, deed and land use restrictions, farm transfer and succession planning, land assessment, and leasing options – in order to better support farmers throughout the state. Several participants indicated that hosting a workshop or a series of workshops on land access is a primary goal in the coming years.

Milestone #5 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

LEARNING THROUGH EDUCATION PROGRAM

5. 15 professionals participate in an introductory webinar on fundamentals of farmland access for beginning farmers (October 2018) and continue learning and apply knowledge through more in-depth teaching, case studies, role playing and peer networking at 1-day workshop. (November 2018). The workshop participants complete a brief survey to provide feedback and reflect on future details to address in subsequent trainings. The 15 professionals reflect on learning by updating LAP goals and sharing with AFT (December 2018)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
12
Proposed Completion Date:
December 31, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
April 30, 2019
Accomplishments:

FA-NJ-Training-Outline_updated-01.19

This milestone completion date has been changed to February 28, 2019 due to schedule adjustments.

January 2020 Update: The first webinar on fundamentals of farmland access for beginning farmers was held on January 23 and featured presentations on financial readiness from Keith Dickinson at Farm Credit East and personal readiness from Suzanna Denison at American Farmland Trust’s national Farms for the Next Generation program. After the webinar and before the in-person training Farmland Advisors were asked to review and simulate completing two worksheets related to assessing personal readiness (see attached) using knowledge from a farmer they were currently working with or another possible scenario. Participants were also asked to review sample financial statements (see attached) and develop their own personal balance sheet and monthly budget for February as homework related to assessing financial readiness. The in-person training was initially scheduled for February but was cancelled due to snow and rescheduled for May 22 at Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County in Ewing, NJ. At this training Keith Dickinson and Suzanna Denison expanded upon their previous webinar presentations in a day-long meeting focused on personal and financial readiness. Both the webinar and workshop were attended by 12 Farmland Advisors.

Evaluation results from the in-person session on May 22 showed that the training met the expectations of all but one participant who responded. That person responded that the content was too basic, whereas several others reported learning a lot and thought the information was “very valuable.” This highlights a challenge that we have seen throughout this project. There is a wide range of knowledge and skill level among Farmland Advisors – some have been working with farmers to access land for many years and came in feeling confident about their ability to support farmers and landowners, whereas others came in with very limited experience. It has been a challenge, therefore, to design the webinars and trainings to fit the needs of all participants and share useful knowledge and resources to those at all points on this spectrum.

Participants also found small-group breakout sessions and hands-on examples to be useful, as well as the financial information provided by Keith Dickinson.

Personal and Business Goals Worksheet

Land Tenure Readiness Self Assessment

Three Year Financial History

Three Year Production History

Property Owned and Leased

Farm Business Plan Worksheet

Projected Actual Income Expense Worksheet

Milestone #6 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

6. 15 professionals participate in a webinar to learn about techniques for accessing farmland, including secure farm leases, purchases and role of permanent land conservation in land access, as well as working with non-farming landowners. (January 2019) and continue learning and apply knowledge through more in-depth teaching, case studies, role playing and networking at 1-day workshop. (February 2019). The workshop participants complete a brief survey to provide feedback and reflect on future details to address in subsequent trainings. The 15 professionals reflect on learning by updating LAP goals and sharing with AFT. (March 2019).

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
14
Proposed Completion Date:
March 31, 2019
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
March 13, 2019
Accomplishments:

This milestone completion date has been changed to April 30, 2019 due to schedule adjustments.

January 2020 Update: The second webinar on techniques for assessing farmland was held on March 13 and the in-person training was held on April 8 at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ. There were 14 attendees for the webinar and 13 attendees for the in-person training. In preparation for the in-person training, attendees were asked to review resources available on the NJ State Agriculture Development Committee’s (SADC) Leasing Farmland webpage. Charles Roohr and Cindy Roberts from SADC presented a session in the morning entitled “Preparing Farmers to Secure Land Through Leasing or Purchase” using materials from AFT’s Land Access Training curriculum (see attached). Charles and Cindy were trained and certified by AFT as Land Access Trainers, developed through support from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, to deliver this curriculum designed to increase the proficiency of service providers in supporting beginning farmers seeking secure land tenure.  In the afternoon, Dave Clapp, also from SADC, led a session entitled “Assessing Land Suitability” which included classroom instruction (see attached) and an on-farm assessment activity (see attached) at Duke Farms.

In their evaluations, respondents reported that the in-person session met their expectations. Participants particularly appreciated the opportunity to work together in small groups and learn from one another, as well as many of the online and printed resources shared at the training from the Land Access Training curriculum.

Milestone #7 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

7. 15 professionals participate in a webinar to learn about farm transfer planning, including common goals and barriers, tools and available resources to help senior farmers and landowners. (April 2019) and continue learning and apply knowledge through more in-depth teaching, case studies, role playing and peer networking at 1-day workshop (June 2019). The workshop participants complete a brief survey to provide feedback and reflect on future details to address in subsequent trainings. The 15 professionals and reflect on learning by updating LAP goals and sharing with AFT. (July 2019).

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
July 31, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
June 11, 2019
Accomplishments:

This milestone completion date has been changed to June 30, 2019 due to schedule adjustments.

January 2020 Update: The third webinar on farmland transfer was held on May 15 with 10 participants and the in-person training was held on June 11 at Farm Credit East in Bridgeton, NY with 7 participants.

 In the morning Jerry Cosgrove from American Farmland Trust discussed the importance of communication and assessing farmers’ goals and values, and Keith Dickinson described the different types of farm transfer and the key traits of a farm transfer team. In the afternoon Keith addressed the critical tools that can be used for farm transfer and Jerry finished out the day by addressing the role of conservation options in a successful farm transfer. Please see attached materials regarding farm transfer.

AFT planned each in-person training in a different region of New Jersey to make them accessible to all participants, given that participants are scattered throughout the state. This final workshop took place in southern NJ and proved to be more difficult to get to for most of the Farmland Advisors, hence the lower attendance rate than anticipated. Several Farmland Advisors were able to join remotely.  

The in-person session met the expectations of all evaluation respondents. Participants noted, again, that walking though examples together was very helpful, as was learning specifics about conservation options.

Glossary of Land Transfer Terms

Understanding Perspectives Worksheet

Selling an Agricultural Conservation Easement

Milestone #8 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

8. 15 professionals complete interim survey to assess change in skills and knowledge and share goals and progress towards implementing LAP (July 2019)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Proposed Completion Date:
July 31, 2019
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
March 30, 2020
Accomplishments:

The interim survey was distributed in February 2020. Responses from the survey show that the vast majority of participants increased their knowledge and experience related to farmland access and transfer.

  • 92% of respondents increased their knowledge and experience assisting farmers in securing access to farmland in areas like helping beginning farmers develop personal and business goals, assessing financial readiness, finding available farmland, evaluating farmland, and communications between farmers and landowners.
  • 69% increased their knowledge and experience with tools to support farmland access like farmland leasing, fee purchases, working with non-farming landowners, working with farmland investors, and agricultural conservation easements including affordability provisions.
  • 85% increased their knowledge of tools pertaining to farmland access like organizations and programs, print and online materials, and community partners.
  • 75% increased their knowledge and experience related to farm transfer planning in areas like estate planning, retirement and farm management transfer planning, coordinating a team of service providers, land conservation options, and soft skills like communications, goal setting, and value assessment.
  • 58% increased their knowledge of tools pertaining to farmland transfer like organizations and programs, print and online materials, and community partners.

Previous information:

This milestone completion date has been changed to April 30, 2019 due to schedule adjustments.

This milestone completion date has been changed to February 28, 2020 due to schedule adjustments.

The interim survey is being designed now. In August, AFT held check-in calls with each of the 14 Farmland Advisors to discuss their Learning Action Plans and provide support towards their goals.

Milestone #9 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

ENGAGEMENT TO SUPPORT ACTION
9. 15 professionals participate in peer networking calls (ongoing following completion of webinars and workshops) and share knowledge and experience regarding targeted topics, such as leasing publicly owned farmland or starting a conversation with non-farming landowners, or progress in implementing their LAPs.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Proposed Completion Date:
February 28, 2021
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

January 2020 Updates:

Several Farmland Advisors participated in the webinar “Where Does New Jersey Stand?” on June 10, 2020, which explored the findings of Farms Under Threat: State of the States report in New Jersey.  This extensive new research from American Farmland Trust provided groundbreaking new data that answer the questions: How threatened is New Jersey’s agricultural land? What is the state doing to protect it? What can New Jersey learn from other states? The webinar looked at the finings and gave an overview of the tools now available to help planners, land protection practitioners, policymakers and advocates strengthen and expand agricultural land retention and protection efforts in New Jersey.

In June 2020, after the pandemic had begun, AFT staff held one-on-one calls with Farmland Advisors. Farmland Advisors shared details about their work with farmland owners and seekers, as well as changes they were seeing in agriculture in New Jersey. For example, some Advisors’ focus had shifted somewhat from land access to testing workers and addressing fears of a labor shortage if migrant workers were prevented from traveling due to COVID-19.

AFT held a networking call on August 20 to provide an opportunity for Farmland Advisors to reconnect and discuss their work. The call allowed the group to discuss how their work has shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the kinds of new challenges they are seeing in land access and transfer. Erica Goodman also led a review of the Farms Under Threat: State of the States report and a discussion about new or amplified threats the participants are seeing in New Jersey. For example, events that had been canceled in the early spring were moving to online platforms or being rescheduled for the fall and winter. Advisors talked about the work they are doing with farmers to create written leases, noting the challenges that hand-shake leases present to both farmland access and implementation of conservation practices. This is especially important given the increase in demand for farmland seen as folks living in cities look to more rural areas during the pandemic. They also talked more broadly about agriculture in New Jersey, noting the increased demand for local products, especially meat and vegetables. Several advisors also discussed the challenges of working with farmland owners to find farmers to grow on their land.

There are two additional virtual meetings scheduled for the first months of 2021. On January 11 Laura Barley and Cris Coffin will join Farmland Advisors to discuss the Agricultural Viability Index (AVI) and the National Agricultural Lands Network (NALN). The AVI, developed by American Farmland Trust, is a pioneering attempt to evaluate and compare agricultural viability across New England, New York, and New Jersey, ultimately assessing whether community can sustain profitable farm enterprises, support local wealth creation through agriculture, and keep land in farming for future generations. Laura Barley will explore the AVI’s site with the group interactively, provide examples of how the AVI can be of use, and answer questions about the tool. 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. NALN Director Cris Coffin will discuss the future of the network in New Jersey, opportunities to connect, and answer questions about the network’s work. Both will be tremendous tools to support Farmland Advisors in their land access and transfer work and to stay connected into the future.

Farmland Advisors will meet for the final time on February 24. This call will give participants an opportunity to share the work they have done on their Learning Action Plans and will provide an opportunity to revisit the Land Access Training curriculum, which has been used throughout this program. Leah Osborn, the consultant who helped AFT create the curriculum, will join us for a training session about how to adapt the curriculum to each Farmland Advisor’s needs. As part of this project, Farmland Advisors will receive a copy of the printed curriculum via mail. The curriculum was identified as a crucial tool by several Farmland Advisors throughout the program.

 

Previous update:

To date farmland advisors have participated in one networking call on September 19, 2019 with more to come in 2020. On September 19 Farmland Advisors updated the group on what they were currently working on related to farmland access and transition, and shared events and resources that might be of interest to others on the call. AFT staff also walked through the updated Verification Support Tool (see attached) that Farmland Advisors will use to track their progress toward the goals in their Learning Action Plans. This led into a broader discussion about the process that Farmland Advisors take when a farmer walks into their office. Participants shared strategies, tools, and resources that they use when engaging with farmers and farmland owners around land access and transfer. They were also able to ask questions of their fellow Farmland Advisors about tracking and intake. Most are currently using simple systems involving email and Excel spreadsheets to keep track of inquiries and follow-up.  

Verification Support Tool

Milestone #10 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10. 15 professionals receive personal coaching and LAP Implementation Stipends to support the implementation of their LAPs with farmers following completion of webinars and workshops. (Ongoing)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Proposed Completion Date:
February 28, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
July 30, 2020
Accomplishments:

January 2021 Updates: As of July 30, 2020 all Implementation Stipends have been distributed to Farmland Advisors. As an example, the State Agriculture Development Committee plans to make improvements to the New Jersey Land Link website using their stipend. They will add a list of Farmland Advisors to the site as a resource so that farm seekers and landowners can connect with service providers across the state, make the Resources page easier to use on desktops and mobile devices, and improve the intake process to get more information from users as they engage with the site in order to better support them in their search for land or for a farmer for their land.

 

Previous Update:

In August, AFT held check-in calls with all Farmland Advisors to discuss their Learning Action Plans, their goals for the coming months and years, and to find out what, if any, additional support they needed to accomplish those goals. Since then, AFT staff have followed up with Farmland Advisors as necessary to provide support, resources, and connections with other experts, and will continue to do so as needed.

In addition, AFT offered Implementation Stipends of $900 to all Farmland Advisors to support the goals in their Learning Action Plans. Eight Farmland Advisors accepted an Implementation Stipend. The first installment of $450 was distributed at the end of 2019 and the second installment of $450 will be distributed to those 8 Farmland Advisors in February 2020

Milestone #11 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

FINAL VERIFICATION
11. 15 professionals complete final survey to assess change in skills and knowledge, LAP implementation and farmer action steps taken. (February 2021)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Proposed Completion Date:
February 28, 2021
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

January 2021 Updates: The final survey of program participants is being developed and will be distributed in late January or early February.

Milestone Activities and Participation Summary

Educational activities and events conducted by the project team:

1 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
2 Published press articles, newsletters
1 Webinars / talks / presentations

Beneficiaries who participated in the project’s educational activities and events:

3 Extension
1 NRCS
5 Nonprofit
2 Agency
4 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
15 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities

Learning Outcomes

15 Ag service providers intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned through this project in their educational activities and services for farmers

Performance Target Outcomes

Performance Target Outcomes - Service Providers

Target #1

Target: number of service providers who will take action to educate/advise farmers:
15
Target: actions the service providers will take:

15 professionals in New Jersey who become prepared to advise beginning farmers in accessing farmland and senior farmers and non-farming landowners in providing access to or transferring farmland will teach 250 farmers about options, and help 50 farmers take steps to access or transfer farmland.

Target: number of farmers the service providers will educate/advise:
250

Performance Target Outcomes - Farmers

Target #1

Target: number of farmers who will make a change/adopt of practice:
50
Target: the change or adoption the farmers will make:
50 farmers who manage/aspire to manage 1,000 acres take steps to access or transfer farmland such as completing a farmland suitability or farm transfer readiness assessment or making listings on the NJ LandLink website.

Additional Project Outcomes

Additional Outcomes Narrative:

As previously noted, the number of webinars and the timeline for completing the webinars and workshops shifted from the initial proposal. In consultation with the Farmland Advisors New Jersey Advisory Committee and AFT national staff, two additional preparatory webinars were added to the series of three topical webinar and workshop combinations. These two new webinars are:
– Introduction to Farmland Advisors New Jersey: AFT staff led a one-hour webinar to facilitate virtual participant introductions, review of commitments, timeline and expectations, and introduce the Learning Action Plan (Completed in November 2018)
– Overview of Performance Based Learning: A curriculum development consultant from Worldwide Instructional Design System, whom was contracted to help design AFT’s national Land Access Training program, will join AFT staff to discuss the curriculum approach to educate, motivate and practice and why specifically it’s valuable for professionals addressing issues of farmland access and transfer. (Scheduled for January 2019)
AFT will also lead the following series of webinars and workshops as originally projected but at an adjusted timeline.
• Topic I: Introduction to land tenure, fundamentals of farmland access, and assessing readiness of beginning farmers
o Webinar: January 2019
o Workshop: February 2019
• Topic II: Techniques for accessing farmland, including secure farm leases, purchases and role of permanent land conservation in land access, as well as working with non-farming landowners
o Webinar: March 2019
o Workshop: April 2019

• Topic III: Farm transfer planning, including common goals and barriers, tools and available resources to help senior farmers and landowners
o Webinar: May 2019
o Workshop: June 2019
Overall, these dates align more closely with the next stages of completion for the Farmland for the Next Generation Land Access Training that is serving as a guide for the Farmland Advisors Curriculum.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.