Northeast Farm Access was formed to foster sustainable agriculture and increase access to good local food in the Northeast. There is also a critical need for new and beginning farmers to have to access funding for land in ways that build equity.
The National Young Farmer’s Coalition released a study in November of 2011 titled, “Building a Future With Farmers: Challenges Faced by Young, American Farmers and a National Strategy to Help Them Succeed.” They surveyed 1,000 farmers from across the United States and found that access to capital, access to land and health insurance present the largest obstacles for beginners. Farmers rated farm apprenticeships, local partnerships and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as the most valuable programs to help beginners.
Report findings include:
• 78% of farmers ranked “lack of capital” as a top challenge for beginners, with another 40% ranking “access to credit” as the biggest challenge.
• 68% of farmers ranked land access as the biggest challenge faced by beginners.
• 70% of farmers under 30 rented land, as compared to 37% of farmers over 30.
• 74% of farmers ranked apprenticeships as among the most valuable programs for beginners.
• 55% of farmers ranked local partnerships as one of the most valuable programs, and 49% ranked Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as a top program.*
We promote access by building relationships that lead to opportunity. The team at Northeast Farm Access has the knowledge, creativity, commitment and contacts to remove barriers and grow equity for farmers, assist retiring farmers in transitions and encourage community development. We facilitate equitable partnerships between farmers and investors that broaden access to farmland, restore our environment, and create more resilient local food systems. We use our expertise and networks to secure social and financial capital in farmland using methods that work well for farmers, investors and the land. We establish longterm connections between investors and farmers, rooted in the interests of each and in the land, resulting in long-term and affordable tenure.