According to a recent article, farmers and ranchers make up only 1.3 percent of the U.S. population. Even if you add non-farming farmland owners to that number, you’re probably still only talking about 2-2.5 percent of the American population that deals directly with hands-on farming and farmland ownership.
That’s a big deal because farming has many unique features as a way of life and a business.
Whether it’s negotiating a lease, finding the right farm property, or working out a succession plan for a farmland property, you need someone who understands those unique features. We’ve found, for example, that many real estate agents who are great at finding just the right deal on a suburban home don’t know the ins and outs of looking carefully at rural farmland with wells, septic fields, outbuildings of various conditions, and soil types. And sometimes they are not patient with farmers looking for just the right site and price.
This is why we’re asking for your help in creating an informal, crowd-sourced directory of recommended service providers for topics related to land access and with a primary focus in the northeast Illinois region.
Here’s how we’ll make this work:
STEP #1: You share the names of service providers you’ve worked with who have served you well.
Please fill out this online form by Friday, September 9. Please include the person’s name, company name, email, and either website address or mailing address. A few sentences about your experience with them and why you recommend them would also be much appreciated.
Service providers we are looking for include:
Lawyers (for developing agricultural leases - we’re especially interested in lawyers with experience designing leases for conservation-minded farming)
Realtors (experience with rural properties)
Lendors/Financial Advisors/Business Planners
Estate Attorneys (experience with estate planning, including succession)
Mediators and Succession/Transition Planning Facilitators
STEP #2: We will compile the names and businesses into one document which we will post on our website and also share as an article in the September newsletter.
Our goal is to save farmers and farmland owners in the land access journey time and frustration in finding the help they need to make wise strategic decisions with sound guidance.
By sharing your recommendations for service providers you’ve had great experiences with, you can help others in a significant way.
As the season winds down it's the perfect time for farm reading again. Everyone who submits a recommendation will be entered into a random drawing to win one of these three books- Dirt to Soil, For the Love of Soil, Wildly Successful Farming. We'll select six winners to have their choice of one of these three books.