Ag group launches land access guide for young Alberta farmers

Ag group launches land access guide for young Alberta farmers
Apr 16, 2021

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This free resource contains tips for designing business plans and case study examples

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

An industry organization has published a resource for young Alberta farmers to consult when trying to access land.

The free Alberta Land Access Guide from Young Agrarians provides strategies for purchasing land and building equity, tips for designing business plans, case studies and other information.

This kind of resource is important because access to land is one of the biggest challenges new farmers have to navigate, said Dana Penrice, prairies program manager with Young Agrarians.

“We know for new farmers that accessing land is a monumental challenge they face,” she told Farms.com. “This guide provides context about what it’s like to access land in Alberta right now. Some people are under the impression that owning land is the only way to get in, but this guide takes a look at other ways.”

Leasing, for example, is included in the guide.

The resource includes sample agreements to ensure everyone involved is confident about the deal, Penrice said.

“I think leasing is going to be happening more and more, so we want to make sure both parties in the lease have their expectations clear and help set those expectations. A landowner might only want to lease from year to year where a new farmer might be looking for land security because they want to make investments.”

The guide also has information on how to find available land and the organization’s website has some land listings as well.

The need for this kind of resource (and ones like it for Ontario and British Columbia) are indicative of changes occurring in Canadian ag.

Not all farmers are coming from generational operations, Penrice said.

“People often think new farmers are the children of current farmers and that’s not always the case anymore,” she said. “We did a national survey in 2015 with the National Farmers Union and in that survey, we talked to new and aspiring farmers. Of those farmers, 68 per cent of them didn’t come from a farming background.”

In need of farmland?

Check out the Farms.com Real Estate page to see what land is available near you.

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