; Farmland for the Next Generation | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Farmland for the Next Generation

Heather Gessner


Finding farmland is one of the most significant issues facing beginning farmers and ranchers. The land is expensive, and identifying landowners ready to rent or sell their land is hard to do.
Farmland for the Next Generation (FNG) is an 8-week, highly interactive program designed to help beginning farmers face these entry barriers. I adapted the face-to-face program into a virtual option and held 2 sessions Fall/Winter 2020-2021. 101 participants from 7 states registered for the program, representing 57 families.
The curriculum utilizes learning modules designed to educate, demonstrate, and activate. In this manner, I taught a topic; then, through case studies and worksheets, they identified the concepts learned and then implemented them through their homework activities.
The session topics included: Introduction to Land Tenure, Financial Assessment, Land Access Options, Finding Land, Land Assessment, Leasing Land, Purchasing Land, and Succession Planning.
I evaluated 41 learning objectives through an exit survey. For each, participants indicated their change in knowledge of the objective. Each objective averaged an "increased" rating. Using Likert scales, I was able to determine the participants' confidence in purchasing or renting land. 100% indicated they were "very confident" in their abilities.
Participants also responded to questions about their plans to utilize or implement 10 components of the education they received within the next 12 months. Response options were Yes, No, or Already Completed. Each component had a 60% or greater "yes" response. Seven of the components had 1 or more participants already completing that component.