Farm owners choose to make their land available for farming for many reasons. Whether it’s a desire to continue a family farm tradition, maintain farmland assessment status, or develop a vision for the property that includes agriculture, the land and farm operations on the land can play important roles in the agricultural industry in New Jersey. The following resources may be able to help with finding farmers for the farming opportunity you have available.

 

Listings and local contacts

NJ Land Link - Online Listings – NJ Land Link helps connect farmers who are seeking access to land and farming opportunities, with farm owners who have farmland and business opportunities available. Farm owners can advertise the farming opportunities they have available (lease, sale, partnership, farm manager, apprenticeship and other opportunities) through the site’s free online listings, and they can browse the listings of farming opportunities sought posted by farmers

  • NJ Land Link - Create a free listing for yourself on the linking website

Additional Websites - Online Listings – The following are some additional sites where you can post online listings:

Print Listings - Some farm owners advertise their farming opportunities in print publications, which also often post their classifieds online. Some of these include the New Jersey Farmer and Lancaster Farming.

Local contacts - Contacting your Rutgers Cooperative Extension county agricultural agent, or speaking with local farmers and agricultural organizations, can also be helpful for learning about farmers who are seeking farming opportunities. Speaking with people locally and using word-of-mouth can also help to advertise what you have available. For information on local contacts, see the links below and the information on local organizations working with beginning farmers seeking farming opportunities.

 

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Types of farmers seeking farming opportunities

Farmers seeking access to land include established farmers and beginning farmers. Established farmers are often looking to expand or relocate an existing farm operation, or sometimes to partner with another person or work as a farm manager. Similiarly, new and beginning farmers are often looking for land in order to start or expand a new farm business, or to partner, manage, or work on a farm, in some cases as an apprentice, to gain experience. 

New farmers are a diverse group and have a range of backgrounds and experiences. This includes people who grew up on a farm; recent college graduates interested in farming but who may have little farming experience; people looking to transition to farming from a successful non-farm career; and recent immigrants who may have more significant agricultural experience. Beginning farmers also include those who have worked on farms for several years to gain experience and who are now looking to start their own new farm businesses.

 

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Organizations working with beginning farmers seeking farming opportunities

NOFA-NJ's Beginning Farmer Program is one program that supports beginning farmers in New Jersey. GrowNYC's Beginning Farmer Program is another effort that works with aspiring famers. GrowNYC's program is based in New York and often has farmers who are looking for farming opportunities. Rutgers also offers RU Ready to Farm courses for new farmers, and NJ CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) is a group of small farms in New Jersey that provides workshops and farm tours for the farms' beginning farmer interns and apprentices. The NJ Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers is a networking group for young farmers, and the Monmouth Conservation Foundation's Field to Farm Project and the Foodshed Alliance are working to help farm owners connect with beginnging and established farmers. 

NOFA-NJ, GrowNYC, Rutgers, NJ CRAFT, NJ Farm Bureau, Mommouth Conservation Foundation, and the Foodshed Alliance could be some organizations to contact for assistance with finding farmers for a farming opportunity you have available (land for lease, farm manager position, apprenticeship opportunity, farm business succession, partnership, land for sale, etc.).

For more information on the access to land issues faced by new and established farmers, a few resources include the guidebook, Leasing Farmland in New Jersey: A Guide for Landowners and Farmers, and beginning farmer resource guides.

 

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Farmland Preservation

For owners of unpreserved farmland who are looking to sell their land and see it remain in agriculture, the NJ Farmland Preservation Program may be of assistance. By selling a farm's development rights through the preservation program, the land is preserved and the farm's cost to a potential farmer-buyer can be lowered.

In some cases, a farm owner may not be able to preserve the farm in a timely manner. Farmland Preservation's Fee Simple Purchase Program may be able to help in these situations. If the farm meets the program's eligibility criteria, the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) can buy the farm at the farm's unrestricted market value, preserve the farm by applying the program's farmland preservation deed restrictions, and then resell the now-preserved farm at auction. Local county agriculture development boards, municipalities, and non-profits may also be interested in purchasing and preserving farms in this way for agriculture.

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