The following information and resources may be of assistance to farmers seeking access to famland and farming opportunities.

Ideas for New and Aspiring Farmers

If you are an aspiring farmer and have looked through the Resources for Beginning Farmers, you already know that getting started in farming involves more than just seeking access to land - it involves assessing your resources and skills, developing a business and marketing plan, becoming familiar with regulations and with programs and organizations that may be of assistance, and deciding what type of farming opportunity makes sense to pursue at this time.

Aspiring farmers with little farming experience may find that working on a farm, such as an intern, apprentice, employee, or volunteer, may be a good first step. For others who have more experience and who are looking to start a new farm business on their own, leasing as opposed to purchasing farmland can be a cost-effective way to get started. Many new farmers have turned to leasing as a result of high land values or limited access to capital. One benefit of leasing is that without a mortgage, more money is available to help cash-flow the new farm operation.

Some aspiring farmers have also worked first as an intern/apprentice and then as a farm manager before starting out on their own. One benefit of working as a farm manager is that it can allow you build equity and experience without having the risks and expenses associated with being fully-responsible for the farm business.


The types of farming opportunities available in New Jersey include a range of possibilities:

  • Working on a farm to gain experience (intern, apprentice, employee)
  • Working on a farm in a greater capacity (farm manager)
  • Partnering on a farm business (with a landowner or another farmer)
  • Leasing land for your own farm business
  • Purchasing land for your operation
  • Other arrangements

Depending on your background, skills, farming experience, current resources, and level of planning, one or more of the above possibilities may be right for you.

 

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Land Linking Websites and Additional Ideas

NJ Land Link - Online Listings – NJ Land Link helps connect farmers who are seeking access to land, with farm owners who have farmland and business opportunities available. Farmers can browse the listings of farming opportunities available (lease, sale, partnership, farm manager, apprenticeship, and other opportunities) that farm have posted, and farmers can create their own listings to describe the farming opportunities they are seeking.

  • NJ Land Link - Create a free listing for yourself on the linking website

Additional Websites - Online Listings – The following are some additional sites where you can view and/or post online listings:

Published advertisements - In addition to posting listings online, some landowners farmers also purchase ads in local papers or trade publications, such as the NJ Farmer newspaper.

Networking and word of mouth - Speaking with other farmers and landowners is often one of the most effective strategies for learning about farming opportunities. Besides visiting with farmers, one way to connect with local growers is through county boards of agriculture. County boards meet monthly except in the summer, and their farmer members may be able to provide feedback, direction, support, or referrals to helpful people and programs. To find out when a county board meets, contact the Rutgers Cooperative Extension county agricultural agent.

 

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Additional Resources

The following are some additional resources with information on access to land:

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