To strengthen independent family farms and build sustainable food systems by helping small- and mid-scale farmers to lease and purchase land, access capital, and improve business and financial management skills.
California farmers over 65 outnumber farmers under 35 by approximately nine to one. New farmers face many obstacles to achieving success, including difficulty accessing land to farm, not understanding their financing options, and a lack of strong business skills. Retiring farmers lack information about proven, innovative ways to keep land in agricultural production while simulatneously meeting financial goals related to retirement and estate planning.
The future of productive, diversified, and sustainable farms is too important to be left to a random process of "marry or inherit." California FarmLink provides a range of services to facilitate a transition from one farm owner to the next and for new farmers to establish strong, successful businesses.
- FarmLink’s innovative land-linking program resulted in 15 leases, partnerships, and other arrangements tailored to the needs of the landowners and growers. These farmers raise everything from vegetables, citrus, flowers, microgreens, and herbs, to pastured poultry, hogs, goats, and cattle.
- FarmLink conducted 60 educational and outreach events, including mixers to introduce new farmers and landowners. We reached over 1600 farmers and educators with topics that covered land access, leases, farm financing, business planning, farmland preservation, and preparing for the next generation of farmers.
- FarmLink provided individual technical assistance to 480 beginning, limited-resource, and socially-disadvantaged farmers. We provided guidance and resources on land seeking, leases, loans and finance, business planning, and farm transitioning.
- FarmLink made 23 direct loans to small-scale farmers. These loans, previously unavailable to these under-served growers, ranged from $5,000 to $25,000. Growers purchased plants and seed, bought tractors, and fixed a cooler. They also preserved and created 70 jobs!
- Created or assisted with 41 successful land links
- Assisted 193 farmers with leases and purchases
- Provided 130 farmers with financial management, business planning, and information on building and maintaining credit
- Provided 15 farm families with succession planning
- 21% of our assistance went to Latino and SE Asian farmers, 60% to limited-resource farmers and 29% to women farmers
- Became a certified independent lender with the Department of Corporations, filling a critical niche and serving small, direct-market, limited resource, organic and beginning farmers