AFT’s Farmland for the Next Generation Training in the Pacific Northwest will use a collaborative project team including PCC Farmland Trust and Viva Farms to develop curriculum and professionally train a cohort of a minimum of 20 certified trainers in Washington State in land access, land tenure, and succession planning. The curriculum will then be delivered to a minimum of 200 new and beginning farmers and ranchers. This curriculum and training format is unique and in demand, as it comprehensively focuses on topic areas which are not currently readily accessible as professional development opportunities to those serving the state’s stewards of private lands. The project team will recruit participants in this cohort training program who are farmers and ranchers, as well as from agricultural service provider organizations and agencies, including Cooperative Extension Service programs, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Districts, and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The project team will adapt AFT’s national 8-unit land access training curriculum in accordance with the specific needs of farmers and ranchers in Washington in order to best serve their interests in land protection, sustaining multi-generational operations, and stewarding land. Upon completion of their training, the 20 trainers will each deliver two workshop trainings to new and beginning farmers and ranchers and will achieve certification as Land Access Trainers (LATs). Trainers will become part of a growing network of certified professionals in the Pacific Northwest region who can effectively deliver content to help new and beginning farmers and ranchers navigate land tenure and access. The project will be expanded in subsequent phases beyond this grant to other states in the region as AFT and its partners continue to help new and beginning farmers and ranchers meet their goals in accessing land and managing their operations and land sustainably.
Project objectives from proposal:
The objectives of Farmland for the Next Generation Training in the Pacific Northwest are:
- Enhance the capacity of a network of agricultural educators and service providers by providing training and certifying 20 new Land Access Trainers (LATs) who will become part of a growing network of LATs in Washington.
- Increase land access for new and beginning farmers and ranchers in Washington by supporting LATs in training 200 new and beginning farmers and ranchers and helping them assess their goals and financial readiness to lease or buy land, understand ways to identify available farmland, and evaluate farm lease or purchase options.
- Increase the adoption of sustainability practices in agriculture by training LATs in delivering curriculum to new and beginning farmers and ranchers on sustainability concepts.
This project will build off of AFT’s Farmland for the Next Generation curriculum, which will prepare the network of LATs to train and mentor new farmers and ranchers to assess their financial readiness; determine their land tenure options; find and evaluate farm properties; and negotiate lease, inheritance and purchase agreements.