As western Montana houses a growing population, farms and ranches are being subdivided and developed. The agricultural land that remains in tact carries a price tag reflecting its development value, far exceeding what a producer can afford by growing food. Meanwhile, the average age of farmers and ranchers in Montana has reached 55 years.
Retiring farmers and ranchers need to be able to weigh all their options and plan the future of their land--including keeping it in agriculture even if their kids do not return to the farm. Beginning farmers and ranchers need access to agricultural land, as well as the resources and expertise to plan a business, get a loan, and establish a transfer arrangement. Non-farming landowners are also an important piece of the puzzle, as many want to see their land in production for tax purposes, weed management, or personal satisfaction.
Land Link Montana is a farm and ranch transfer program. Our mission is to see agricultural land remain under the stewardship of farmers and ranchers, as generations come and go. We do that simply by working with interested landowners, farmers and ranchers.
To assist landowners and farm/ranch seekers in establishing successful land transfers, Land Link Montana offers the following services:
- Our matching service connects landowners with farm and ranch seekers, based on their compatible interests. Each party makes all the decisions, of course. The matching service helps gather the relevant information, distribute that information to enrolled landowners & farm/ranch seekers, and facilitate the transfer process.
- We are in the process of setting up an on-farm and ranch employment opportunities listing service, to help agricultural operators find labor, while also providing aspiring farmers and ranchers with the opportunity to gain experience before starting their own business. This service will be free. If you have any ideas as to how it can be most useful to you and others, now is a good time to contact us with your suggestions.
- A referral network is also underway to connect you with professionals who can assist you with your farm and ranch transfer needs. As you know, a successful transfer is multi-faceted. Beginning farmers need to know how to get a loan, plan and form a business, etc. Landowners need to know all of their options about how they might transfer their land, plan their retirement, or consider conservation mechanisms. If you have ideas about individuals or organizations who might be a good resource for beginning and retiring growers and non-farming landowners, please contact us.