Farmland Community of Practice

For the (Farm)Land.

We’re convening 40 leaders in Indiana’s farming and land conservation community. Together, we’ll find a path forward for the future of Indiana’s farmland. 

The problem 

Land access is the biggest hurdle to beginning farmers nationwide, and beginning farmers in Indiana struggle to find and afford farmland in both urban and rural settings (based on Marion County Purdue Extension needs assessment as well as “Building A Future With Farmers II”). Additionally, current farmland owners struggle to find a way to keep land in agriculture when younger generations leave the farm. The entire country is struggling with these problems (based on American Farmland Trust “Farms Under Threat 2040”), but some areas are making headway.

Our strategy

We are helping bring together over 40 Indiana professionals whose work involves farming, farmland transfer, and/or farmland conservation. Together, we have formed a "Community of Practice" -- basically, a group that meets regularly to learn together. We are inviting speakers from neighboring states, to learn what they are doing to improve farmland conservation as well as farmland access for beginning farmers in urban and rural areas, and explore what strategies might work in Indiana. We are meeting monthly for a year, including two in-person meetings. Speakers include and trust staff, policy makers, researchers,  Following this learning intensive 12-month period, a subcommittee will identify and make progress on 2-3 concrete, collaborative farmland access and conservation projects. 

Our partners

This work is supported by Indiana SARE. We are coordinating the Community of Practice in close collaboration with Purdue Extension.