The Land Conservancy offers a program called the Farmer Landowner Match Program. It is a way to connect farmers who are looking for land with landowners who have land that they want to lease or sell for agricultural use.
The program is intended for beginning farmers who need access to land. Conventional farmers who have been working in McHenry County over the years have built-in channels and ways of finding land, mostly through word-of-mouth or family. But often times beginning farmers don’t have the same advantages.
Also, many new farmers are looking for smaller tracts to grow “specialty crops” like fruits, vegetables, flowers and meat that they market through CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), farmers markets, local restaurants and retail stores.
The match will be made through this website. Below you can find two application forms: one for farmers and one for landowners. To get listed in the database, fill out the appropriate application.
There is also a list of available farms that you can view below. If you see a listing that interests you, click on it and you will be put in touch with the listed party. TLC will act as the go-between, so that parties are put in contact with each other after being screened by TLC. Names and addresses will remain anonymous on the database.
Once the match is made, TLC will direct you to important resources such as model leases and tax advisors. We are in the process of forming a team of experts that will help inform the program and its participants.
By making connections between beginning farmers and landowners, TLC hopes to help preserve local farmland and keep it available for the next generation of young people who want to farm it. The program promotes sustainable practices that insure a productive, healthy local food system for our community for many generations to come.
There is a surge of interest in local food systems and a growing number of young people who want to be farmers. There are great farmer training programs in our area, like Angelic Organics Learning Center in Caledonia and the Farm Business Development Center in Grayslake. They are training new farmers who are passionate, energetic and have a business plan. All they need is the place to start their farm business. We want them to make their homes here in McHenry County!
If you are looking for land, or have land you would like farmed, contact Linda Balek 815.337.9502.