A new website, Finger Lakes LandLink, launched this spring to address a pressing need for beginning and established farmers: access to good farmland.
LandLink provides a platform for landowners and land seekers to post a listing on a searchable online database. The project seeks to connect farmers and landowners to put unused land into agricultural production, and to build a robust local food economy through the proliferation of small-scale farms.
The website “is part of a growing movement of young and second-career people going back to the land to farm. Their participation in agriculture is timely, as the American farming population dwindles and ages,” said Ian Bailey, a Cornell doctoral student in the field of development sociology, who helped develop the site. “These new agrarians are less likely to grow the commodity crops of previous generations but seek diverse farm operations that often employ organic and ecological production methods.”
Landowners write a profile of their property and state their goals for the land. Land seekers indicate what kind of farming they are planning, how much acreage they need and their goals for a farming enterprise. The site is open to browse or to view detailed listings. Landowners and farm seekers are encouraged to meet with Cooperative Extension agriculture educators prior to listing on the site.
The site was produced by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming.