WNC FarmLink is a partnership facilitating successful relationships between farmers looking for land to farm, and land
owners aspiring to keep their farm and forest land in agriculture.
In partnership with NC FarmLink, WNC FarmLink maintains databases of both available farmland and farmers looking for land. We work with landowners and farmers to ensure an appropriate and lasting match is made. We will help guide you through considerations and assist you in locating the necessary resources you will need when negotiating a land tenure arrangement.
We envision a resilient agricultural region where farmers have affordable options for accessing farm and forest land to create sustainable farm operations, where landowners have viable opportunities for keeping their land in farming, and where agriculture continues to be an integral part of our economy, environment, and community in Western North Carolina.
Where we work:
This partnership began in April 2013 and we are continuing to develop our programming to be most effective in Western North Carolina. We are serving: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey.
Gaining access to high quality, affordable farmland is one of the most difficult obstacles for beginning farmers and expanding agricultural operations. The challenge is especially difficult for farmers that depend on being near North Carolina’s economic growth centers—areas where land values remain strong even in the current economic climate.
As farmers retire and pass on the question of whether the land will be farmed or will remain available for local food production is a growing concern. And yet, there is a willing generation of young Americans that are motivated to farm, but they need land and few will be able to secure it without help. Since simply inheriting land and taking over the family farm business is not an option for many aspiring farmers as it once was, we must develop alternative paths to farm entry to meet the needs of this next generation of farmers. By connecting retiring farmers, absentee landowners, and heirs of farmers who may be unsure of what they should do with their land with the aspiring farmers who are eager to farm we can begin to address these challenges.
We are addressing these challenges by:
- Maintaining a database, in partnership with NC FarmLink, of people looking for farm ownership or lease opportunities, and people with farmland available.
- Assisting landowners and retiring producers with finding a farmer to lease, sell, or craft a land use agreement to farm or steward their land and keep it in active agricultural production.
- Connecting farmers and land stewards with access to land, capital, knowledge, and skills they need to establish viable land use agreements and sustainable farm operations.
- Working with community partners to create ways to keep farmland affordable for working farmers and land stewards
- Answering the call for innovative and practical resource development and education for the long-term economic and environmental success of farming and land stewardship in the region.
- If you would like WNC FarmLink to come speak to your community group, provide an educational workshop on land access, or coordinate a farmer and landowner meet & greet in your community contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make it happen!
Who we are:
Suzanna Denison is the director of the WNC FarmLink program. In partnership with NC FarmLink, WNC FarmLink maintains databases of both available farmland and farmers looking for land and works with landowners and farmers to ensure an appropriate and lasting match is made. Suzanna grew up on a large-scale conventional vegetable farm in Maine, which transitioned to organic in the mid-1990s. She is passionate about farmland preservation and farm succession planning in order to ensure that agriculture continues to grow and thrive in our region.
WNC FarmLink collaborative partners: