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November 27, 2018

Farmland Access & Transfer Conference to focus on potential farmers

Courtesy / Land For Good
Courtesy / Land For Good
BrennaMae Googins and Brandon McKenney will talk about the experience of leasing, then buying, their Denmark, Maine, farm at the Farmland Access & Transfer Conference Sunday in Augusta.

Potential farmers, as well as those who are getting out of farming and want to transfer their farm, will have a chance to network, learn strategies and find resources and training at the fourth annual Farmland Access & Transfer Conference on Monday.

It's the fourth year for the conference sponsored by Land For Good and the Maine Farmland Trust.

Topics covered include succession planning, incorporating an easement into farm access or transfer plans, how to find and secure farmland, negotiating a lease agreement, and more.

It will be held at the Augusta Civic Center Monday, Dec. 3. The deadline to register is Wednesday.

A feature at the conference will be strategies from the field, including the experience of BrennaMae Googins and Brandon McKenney of Patch Farm, in Denmark. The two started leasing a farm in the western Maine town five years ago, and recently finalized a farm purchase loan from the USDA Farm Service Agency.

The couple said gaining secure tenure to make the farm their own took patience, compromise and support, and they worked with Jo Barrett, Land For Good's Maine field agent on options for paths to ownership, including crafting unique lease provisions.

Their story will be one feature at the conference, which is geared toward farm seekers, retiring farmers and landowners to help them better understand the options, resources and steps to accessing or transferring farms or farmland.

It is also aimed at service providers and other advocates, including land trusts, conservation commissions, town planners and lenders with an interest in fostering affordable farmland access. The conference is sponsored by American Farmland Trust, and The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry and Maine Harvest Credit Project.

For more information or to register, visit mainefarmlandtrust.org/access-2018.

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