HOW DOES NWA FARMLINK HELP OUR COMMUNITY?
Farmland is disappearing in Northwest Arkansas due to rapid urbanization and population growth. According to the USDA Agricultural Census, total farmland in our region declined by 50% from 1997-2012, and the trend continues. New or beginning farmers face many barriers to farming, including rising land prices, equipment costs and the need for assistance. Exiting farmers are delaying their retirement and often don’t have a succession plan for their farm. As a result, we’re losing our family farms and our region’s dependence on an outsourced food supply is increasing. By providing a free web-based platform, along with personalized local assistance and access to resources, NWA FARMLINK meets farmers “where they are.” Working together and leveraging our network, we will help to secure the future of regenerative agriculture in Northwest Arkansas.
NWA FARMLINK is open to all farm seekers from anywhere and farmland owners with property in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington Counties. Farmers interested in growing fruits and vegetables are especially encouraged to participate as the demand for fresh, local foods increases.
OUR NETWORK OF PARTNERS
NWALT Farms was made possible by a grant to the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust from the Walton Family Foundation. We also want to acknowledge the work of these other organizations whose efforts are complementary to ours.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you are not required to place or have a conversation easement on property to participate in NWA FARMLINK. If you are interested in learning more about the possible benefits associated with conservation easements, the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust can provide consultation and access to resources.
You can make many or a few acres available for NWA FARMLINK pending your goals. Portions of an acre are also acceptable. NWA FARMLINK Administrators will review your farmland profile and may request a site visit to the property if its not been in agriculture production for some time or ever to ensure it is suitable.
Unfortunately, NWA FARMLINK cannot promise matches. However, NWA FARMLINK is modeled after several other well-established programs. While NWA FARMLINK aims to make matches, we also work with participants to better prepare seekers to access land when they do secure it, operate more viable farm businesses and learn from the network of participants. We aim to help educate farmland owners about the importance of succession planning for their farms and better prepare them to work with seekers and formalize agreements.
No, both seekers and farmland owners can withdraw from the program at any time. NWA FARMLINK may remove inactive participants periodically if needed. Should participants enter into an agreement of some kind for land access or transfer, the terms of that agreement would remain active regardless of the participants being active NWA FARMLINK users.
Once registered with approved applications, Seekers and Farmland Owners may contact each other via NWA FARMLINK. In addition, participants may contact NWA FARMLINK administrators to connect or attend sponsored networking events to make their own introductions.
Yes, and some NWA FARMLINK content and resources are available regardless of participation. Administrators will make referrals to other service providers as needed to help formalize arrangements.
NWA FARMLINK administrators cannot provide legal advice or draft legal documents however we will provide templates and access to resources outlining best practices for both seekers and farmland owners. NWA FARMLINK will also refer participants to other service providers as needed.
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