Secure land access is the number one challenge facing young and aspiring farmers. With as many as 400 million acres of farmland expected to change hands in the coming years, we need to ensure that this land not only remains in production and accessible to small- and medium-scale producers, but that it also supports a regenerative agriculture system. However, record high land prices (more than doubling over the last decade), increasing land consolidation by corporations and foreign-owned investment funds, conversion for development (over 2,000 acres per day), limited access to capital, student debt, and a lack of technical assistance, put land access out of reach for many BIPOC, tribal, women, young, and beginning farmers who plan to farm regeneratively. In addition, farmers and ranchers who rent land (accounting for 40 percent of all working lands) face unique barriers to implementing soil health practices. Key policies can help to increase land access and ownership, support farm viability and keep farmland in production, and facilitate secure land tenure for the next generation of farmers and ranchers to participate in building a resilient agricultural system.
Summary of Policy Requests:
- Increase land access for producers who are, or are planning to, use regenerative agriculture, especially BIPOC, women, small, and beginning farmers.
- Keep farmland in production and strengthen succession planning to incentivize regenerative transition.
Relates to Farm Bill Titles: II (Conservation), V (Credit) and XII (Miscellaneous)