Article by: Tom Monson
Starting a farm can be daunting; doubly so when language barriers compound with market challenges like land access. At least that’s what the AgStar team has been finding while working with clients in Emerging Farmers lending program. Identifying farmable land access as a strategic bottleneck, AgStar Financial Services reached out to CEDA to help tackle this issue. Subsequently, the CEDA team applied to the AgStar Rural Impact Grant and on August 27, 2015, was awarded $50,000. CEDA also partnered with AgStar to apply for an AgriBank partnership match grant, and were awarded $15,000 more. This $65,000 budget was matched by over 400 hours of research over 16 months developing a solution. That solution has become the Publicly Owned Farmable Land Inventory – the first of its kind, which holds an inventory of over 14,000 parcels and 1 million acres across Minnesota.
Through its partnership with AgStar, CEDA has entered into strategic resource networks for emerging farmers across the state. Aiming to help others access this alliance of capable organizations, CEDA has also made its Resources Inventory available which lists relevant service providers with their contact information. In order to help emerging farmers navigate an ever-changing environments, CEDA is committed to continuously helping emerging farmers and improving this new tool. Our resources are freely available on the CEDA website under “Land Inventory.”
If you have land you would like included or removed from the Land Inventory, please fill out the Farmable Publicly Owned Vacant Land Form. Questions, suggestions, and forms can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.