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Conference Name Landlord Objectives in Leasing Their Land: Results from Focus Groups

Ray Massey, Michelle Segovia, and Mykel Taylor

Summary

Why do landlords own and lease land? Landowners view their land assets as an income source and as a long-term investment. Research and anecdotal evidence indicate that landowners have other objectives besides profitability such as keeping the land in the family, a place to visit regularly, soil health, conservation and helping young farmers.
Many Extension publications focus on the financial aspects of establishing a fair lease where both landowner and tenant make an acceptable return for their contributions. Teaching on other objectives is much more limited to statements such as “control soil erosion according to an approved conservation plan…preserve all established watercourses….”
Four focus group discussion were held in Missouri in 2021 and 2022. Each focus group consisted of six landowners with varying demographic characteristics and farming experience. The focus group environment provided the opportunity for landowners to have open discussions where one landowner’s experience led to other landowners sharing collaborating experiences or expressing personal values they would like to incorporate into their leases.
Observations from the focus groups indicate the following: 1) some landowners have successfully integrated value-based objectives into their leases, and 2) some landowners would like to integrate new values into their leases but do not know how. Many landowners indicated a need and desire for Extension programs targeted to landowners.
This presentation will discuss results from a qualitative analysis based on the transcripts recorded from these focus groups.

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