Access to Land and Financial Capital for New and Beginning Farmers
Date: March 7, 2016
Location: MSU, Kellogg Center
ACCESS TO LAND & FINANCIAL CAPITAL FOR NEW AND BEGINNING FARMERS
Registration is now closed.
Monday, March 7th, 2016 from 9 am- 4 pm
Access to land and financial capital are among beginning farmers’ greatest challenges. This full-day session will help beginning farmers understand the types and uses of capital and to prepare to access it. We’ll explore land tenure options, financial and investment readiness, finding and assessing land, and negotiating with investors and landowners through discussions, handouts and exercises. Cost is $25 and includes lunch.
Workshop facilitators include Ben Waterman and Kathy Ruhf
Ben holds a B.S. in Conservation of Soil, Water, and the Environment from the University of Maryland. He became particularly interested in sustainable agriculture issues after working on coffee farms in Costa Rica and dairy farms in Russia. He and his wife served as agricultural extension agents in the Peace Corps in Malawi. They now operate a diversified farm in Johnson, Vermont. Ben has traveled through the nation and across Vermont assessing soil fertility, water systems and landscapes in the context of farm viability. His interests include cross-cultural communications, the building trades, and trombone. Ben has published guides, taught workshops and worked individually with hundreds of farmers on business planning and access to farmland and capital.
Kathy Ruhf, Sr. Program Director and Massachusetts & Rhode Island Field Agent for Land For Good (LFG), began LFG’s work on farmland access, tenure and transfer in 2004, when there was scarcely any recognition or regional resources on these topics. Over the ensuing decade, land access became an issue of priority concern among all farm and food system stakeholders in New England and nationally. Kathy most recently served as Executive Director (2013-14). Kathy is a nationally recognized leader in farm entry, succession and tenure. She has co-authored guidebooks, managed projects, led workshops and worked closely with farm families on these topics. She served as co-director of the New England Small Farm Institute for 17 years, and on the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers for six years, and chair for two. Kathy coordinated a regional network, the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) from its founding in 1992 until late 2012. She continues to work and write on farm and food policy as a NESAWG Senior Fellow. Kathy has a Master’s degrees in Administration (University of Massachusetts) and in Natural Resource Management (Antioch/New England). She lives and works in Belchertown, Massachusetts.