Links and Resources
Since our founding, MFT has played a key role in securing agricultural easements on 157 farms that are now permanently protected. That is 28,700 acres that will most likely continue to be used for agricultural purposes.
An agricultural easement is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a non-profit land trust which permanently restricts use of the land to agricultural production.
MFT preserves farmland through both accepting donated easements and purchased easements.
Through MFT’s Buy/Protect/Sell program, a farm is purchased, permanently preserved through an easement, then sold to a farmer at its “farmland value.”
Often the land is bought by an experienced farmer identified through the FarmLink program. Other deals are designed to support existing farmers who are looking to secure land they currently lease or to find new land so they can expand.
Maine FarmLink connects farmers seeking farmland with retiring farmers and other farmland owners who wish to see their lands remain in agriculture.
Prospective farmers are linked to those looking to sell or lease their farms, based on their respective interests,needs, and goals. Once a link is established, the program guides participants through the transfer process.
FarmLink has completed more than 100 links on more than 13,180 acres of land. That’s 13,180 acres that will likely be farmed for at least another generation.
The Farm Viability Program will support farmers’ efforts to initiate new operations, reach new markets, or take other steps to enhance future success. MFT will draw on a diverse network of agricultural experts and resources to help participating farmers.
In exchange for these services, farmers will make a commitment to protect their land through one or more of the following practices, including grant “term easements” to MFT of 10 years or more, long-term leases with rights of first refusal to MFT or farmers in the community, and other custom tailored arrangements intended to keep farmland protected.
After years of decline, farming in Maine is on the rise. But farmers still face challenges, and communties can help farmers address them. A new guide recently released by Maine Farmland Trust and American Farmland Trust provides specific examples and suggestions of what local officials and residents can do to support farming in their communities.
The newly published guide, Cultivating Maine’s Agricultural Future, describes some of what’s been in Maine communities to support local farms, including examples from Unity, Turner, Cape Elizabeth, Monmouth, and Bowdoinham. Beyond this, the guide provides a set of tools from which a town can choose those best suited to its circumstances and situation.
Below are common documents that are used in the purchase or sale of a property in the State of Maine: