Check out the Category “Land Opportunities” to see posts on rental and sale opportunities!
In the Rutland Region, there are lots of new farmers looking for land to start their fledgling agricultural businesses on, AND there are lots of landowners interested in renting their land to new farmers. On this page, we will host opportunities that we come across for farmers to access farmland through rental, sale or other creative relationships.
Locating your farm business is an incredibly important decision that will shape the development of your farm and your life. In the Rutland Region, you can find very good farmland, but it can be difficult to access. Most of the fertile, well-drained, best located soils are actively being farmed. Depending on where you are looking in the region, good agricultural soils are still priced very high when they are put up for sale.
Renting can offer you an opportunity to farm without owning land. Some farmers prefer renting because of the flexibility it allows and the decreased carrying costs of the land that they incur. Especially when you are starting out, it is difficult to know exactly what you need to successfully implement your business vision. What types of soils are ideal for the crops you plan to grow? How much acreage do you really need? What markets do you plan on accessing and how convenient is your farm location in relation to them? Renting up front allows you to answer these questions from your own experiences operating your farm, and will help guide you in the future if you do decide to purchase land to farm on. Because renting is almost always much cheaper than purchasing property, you can direct more of the farm’s profits back into its operation.
- Check out this handout on “Finding Land To Farm.” It covers six different ways to secure farmland.
If you are thinking about renting farmland, work through this Online Leasing Tutorial offered by Land For Good.
Here are sample lease agreements you can start with (make sure you receive legal guidance to make sure your lease works for your individual situation).
- Finding a Farm to Buy or Lease: Guide to Farming in New York State (cornell_findinglandhandout) (there is some NY specific stuff but most info is relevant for folks in VT too) ***especially check out the sample lease agreement and 13 tips on writing a good lease – they represent a logical and practical way of thinking about your needs in a rental situation****
- Sample short-term, multi-year and long-term leases on public land are available here from Land for Good.
These handouts will also help ensure you craft a lease agreement that works for you and the landowner.
- A Lease Agreements Guide for Landowners and Farmers (leaseagreementguide) discusses lease agreements from the land owner’s and new farmer’s perspective.
- This Farm Rental Agreement Checklist from Ohio University Extension lays out the various components that should be included in a lease agreement.
- Managing Landlord-Tenant Relationships is another helpful handout from Ohio University Extension.
- From the Legal Guide to Farming in Vermont, this chapter on Farmland Tenure and Leasing offers a comprehensive look at what you should consider when renting in Vermont.