Dear Agrarian Trust allies,
Happy New Year!
This is a follow-up report nearly a year out from the formation of Agrarian Trust in early 2013, sharing with our community of supporters what we accomplished in 2013 and what lies ahead for 2014.
Agrarian Trust was formed at a gathering of land access stakeholders, policy experts and farmers last January at Paicines Ranch in California. If you want to review a summary of outcomes and notes from this formative first meeting, you can do so here.
In April of 2013, Kendra Johnson, Severine Fleming, and Kristen Loria completed the guidebook â€œAffording our land: a farmers guide to farm finance options.â€ It is now online, and available for free to download. This guidebook is meant as a compilatory resource for farmers looking for land, as well as service providers who are supporting farmers and/or landowners in this shared goal.
In the last 6 months of 2013 our primary focus for Agrarian Trust was on proposal writing, fundraising, and planning the 2014 programming. We were glad that this went quite well with a total income of $65,000 to date.
Looking forward to 2014:
As determined in our meeting last year, the principles that underlie land transition are the foundation of this work. These principles underlie all our activities; whether financial, cultural, educational or transactional. Coming out of the last meeting, we realized how important facilitation would be in the next meeting, and in consultation with Peter Forbes and Dave Henson (both experienced in land conservation, group process and facilitation) we determined that a key to moving forward was an explicit list of values, guidelines and principles for Agrarian Trust.
Our goal for 2014 is to focus on the cultural conversation about land, continue gathering and documenting case studies and models, and research and preparing to build the mechanism for land transaction in 2015.
Other goals for the program:
1. Build the issue of Land Access through public programming, press outreach and messaging.
2. Support the network of practitioners as well as farmers looking for land.
Now, the schedule of confirmed activities for 2014.
1. Paicines First Principles of Agrarian Trust Meeting March 13-15, Paicines CA
We will again convene a meeting of about 20 stakeholders to refine the underlying principles that will guide our work together with Agrarian Trust.
2. Symposium on Land Access, April 26, 2014, Berkeley CA
Wes Jackson, The Land Institute (Kansas)
Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm, (Virginia)
Sjoerd Wartena, Terre de Liens, (France)
Elizabeth Henderson, Peaceworks Farm, (New York)
Gary Nabhan, Author/ Professor, (Arizona)
Raj Patel, Writer/Activist, (San Francisco)
Eric Holt-Gimenez, Food First, (Oakland)
*invited Janaina Stronzake, M.S.T Landless Peasants Movement, (Brazil)
*invited Winona LaDuke, White Earth Land Recovery Project, (Minnesota)
3. Professional development workshops
Starting on March 29, 2014 Agrarian Trust will be convening 10 workshops. Organized regionally, these will generate "open source" curriculum modules for use by farmers and farm service providers for professional development. The first workshop is a Negotiation and Communications Training for farmers and farm service professionals. This workshop is co-sponsored by NYAMP (New York Agricultural Mediation Program) and taught by Charlotte Carter, State Director of NYAMP.
We will be sending notifications about all these workshops at a later date.
We hope you will continue to watch out for innovative models, and forward them along to myself or to Kristen Loria email@example.com, who has joined Brooke Werley and Severine as part of the Agrarian Trust team after more than 2 years working on Greenhorns and Farm Hack to help coordinate the Paicines event, Symposium, publications, web-stories, and the upcoming workshops!
Looking forward to keeping the conversations flowing, and thank you all for being a part of the network.
Severine, Kristen, Brooke
All financial contributions to Agrarian Trust are tax-deductible, and can be made out to Schumacher Center for New Economics (with Agrarian Trust in the "note").
Schumacher Center for a New Economics
140 Jug End Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230