Farmer 2 Farmer : Land for the Next Generation

The average age of farm operators in the United States is 58. In the next 20 years, an estimated 70 percent of privately owned agricultural land is expected to change hands in the US. Farmers in the Grand Traverse Region are not immune to this graying trend, as the average age of operators in this area ranges from about 55 in Kalkaska to nearly 60 in Manistee. Moreover, it is expected that around 83,000 acres of farmland in our region will change hands in coming years as well.

The future of agriculture and the viability of rural communities in this region depends on the successful transition of agricultural land from current owner operators to the next generation of farmers. Farmer to Farmer (F2F) aims to address this need. spring.cherryblossom.cmc-2

F2F is a website serving the Grand Traverse Region that is designed to connect farmland owners who wish to sell or lease farmland with farmland seekers looking to buy or lease farmland. This web-based tool will also link agricultural employers with job seekers.

F2F is a free user-driven resource. Farmland owners, seekers, and employers will create profiles detailing their land, themselves and what they are looking for, or the available job opportunity. These profiles comprise a searchable database on the F2F website (eg. Craigslist or Zillow, except with an agricultural focus) available to all users.

F2F will launch this spring, and is a collaborative project between the Leelanau Conservancy, Grand Traverse Regional Land ConservancyMSU Horticultural Research Station, and Taste the Local Difference.

Farmer to Farmer Website:

{Editor’s Note: The Farmer to Farmer website will be going live in early June. Keep checking in to see what’s new}

Sam Plotkin is the Farm Programs Manager for the Leelanau Conservancy. Contact him at [email protected]