Are you… A young farmer needing land? An old farmer wanting to retire?

The history of American farms is at an interesting juncture at the moment.

There are many young farmers wanting to get into farming, but can’t because of land/equipment costs.

And there are a lot of old farmers who want to retire, but can’t because there’s no one to buy the land and take over the farm.  Some of these older farmers are resorting to selling the property to developers.  But there are a lot of farmers who don’t want to do that.  They want to see their farm continue on in the hands of a strong, young, determined farmer.

To make it even worse, there’s the battle for small farms to stay afloat as corporations and the government use tactics meant to squelch all but the few largest farms out of business.  This is only a concern for those who want to farm, though, right?  Nope.

You’ve got to eat everyday, don’t you?  And so do the other 316 million Americans.  Let’s just say that if someone (or a very few someones) controlled the food supply, they’d have the American people in their pocket.

Consider this snippet from a recent interview done by Modern Farmer:

Modern Farmer: What do you think is depressing about the future of American farming?

Ruth Campbell (Age: 61, retiring farmer): The fact that corporations have so much power, and that between government and corporations, it’s just a revolving door for the power structure….  I think that the small farms are going to save agriculture if it’s going to be saved.

IF it’s going to be saved.  No mincing words there.  We’ve got our hands full if we want to keep the tyranny of the ginormous corporations plus government interference at bay.

Thankfully, there is a growing list of resources to connect young farmers and old farmers, and some of them can even help with the buying/selling of the land, and the transition of responsibilities of the farm.

Find land:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom

Buying land in the country is different than buying land in suburban or urban areas.**  If you’re planning on raising plants or animals you need to know about animal regulations and zoning laws.  If you’re out west (in the United States) you ought to know about water rights, and whether or not your land comes with them.  Make sure you walk the land yourself, look for the resources that are there (or lacking).  (Water, wood trees, grass, good soil, sunlight, elevation changes, fruit trees, edible or toxic plants, etc.)

You need to know the typical seasonal pattern of the land… is it prone to flooding or fire?  How much rainfall does it get annually?  Does it get a lot of wind, or no wind?  Is it a low area compared with surrounding land (you’d get pooling of cold air)?  What is the top-soil, sub-soil, and bedrock like in the area?  How thick is each layer, and how far down does the bedrock sit?

You also need to consider access to the land – you want to be able to get to and from your own property legally.  Know the difference between deeded access and deeded easement. Is a well already drilled?  Is there electrical hook-ups to the land (if you want that)?  Are there any buildings, new or old, on the property that can be used to house animals or plants?

Know what’s going on in the area.  Check the local news and talk to the locals.  There may be reasons a landowner is trying to sell that he’s not telling you about.

Maybe the community is about to open up a new landfill just behind the property you’re about to purchase.  That would obviously affect the value of the property and should be taken into consideration.

Consider other nearby land/community conditions that could affect your property, including future events or situations.

You also need to know, before you sign any purchase agreement, what the EXACT boundaries of the property are.  Otherwise you might think a resource is available on your property, only to find out that it sits 2 feet inside the adjacent property.

Given that this could be the most important purchase you make in your life, you’ll want to make your decision with great care and consideration.  The one book I would HIGHLY recommend you acquire is Finding & Buying Your Place in the Country* by Les Scher & Carol Scher.

Whether you’re looking for land to grow organic vegetables, raise dairy cows, or raise poultry for eggs or meat, there are literally hundreds of properties available for sale or rent.  Check out the list of resources below!

United States

You’ll notice that some of the states don’t have any links listed.  I’ve done my utmost to make sure I’ve rounded up every last resource.  BUT, that doesn’t mean I haven’t missed something.  If you know about a farm link or land link not listed below, PLEASE let us know about it so we can add it to the list!


Farm Link Arkansas

Midwest Farm Connection 

Midwest Farm Connection 

 Center for Rural Affairs Listings
Midwest Farm Connection 

Land Stewardship Project
Midwest Farm Connection 

 Center for Rural Affairs Listings
Midwest Farm Connection 

Beginning Farmers (different than the one below)
100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage
Center for Rural Affairs Listings
Farm Beginnings Nebraska

 Center for Rural Affairs Listings
Farley Center Wisconsin Land Link
Midwest Farm Connection
Wisconsin Farm Center Land Link



*The book recommended above is an affiliate link.  You don’t pay any more than you otherwise would … we just get a few cents for recommending it.

**Disclaimer: The materials contained on this website are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal, investment or other professional advice on any subject matter.

6 Responses to Are you… A young farmer needing land? An old farmer wanting to retire?

  1. Samantha January 27, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    Wow, so very true and informative! My partner and I have been looking for land to start homesteading, but it seems all the more affordable land in Canada is more north, which has such a short growing season. I’m definitely going to check this out.

  2. Paul August 6, 2016 at 3:09 am #

    A critical issue. But don’t talk about it as ‘corporates vs little guys’.

    Access to land is a FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN NEED, which if unfulfilled is the very heart of SLAVERY. We watch films about the end of black slavery in US & UK, but are blind to fact that land-deprivation slavery has increased to include whites, now that 90% of world population live in cities. Architects (e.g. Frank Lloyd Wright), sociologists and psychologists have understood this for some time. Without adequate land, people get more and more sick… in a thousand different ways. They also become more and more ignorant; an educational crisis. High school graduation should be measured by whether the student can survive on their own land for one year.

    Governments should provide a Birth Bond (value of national average property price and only valid for property purchase) to every citizen, which matures at age 21 so they at least have the option to purchase land to survive on.

    There’s also the national scale crisis in land degradation and devaluation due to lack of intensive soil improvement which is best achieved by small-medium scale farming families. Nations need a new vision for normalising the idea that MOST of their population should be living on and working a small-medium scale farm. A fairly recent statistic showed that the entire 7 billion people of the world could fit in Texas, but not with enough land to live sustainably. Even so, it just goes to show how much land is out there, and most of it is UNdeveloped for sustainable living.

    This website is a wonderful lighthouse for sharing this vision. Corporations are full of people who need this vision. Just think of them compassionately, as SLAVES to ignorance, and try to set them free rather than attack them confrontationally.

    Thanks again for sharing your vision so effectively, and for allowing students like me to join your conversation.

    Note that UK Land-share site is now closed.

  3. Hideko Stone November 21, 2016 at 7:20 am #

    Looking to retire and would love to find someone interested in our farm. Thanks!

    • Anni December 13, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

      If only we could, we would do it in a trice. Good luck finding someone! And I’ll be sure to share about it.

    • Paula Ravitu May 9, 2017 at 3:34 am #

      Looking to work on the farm or to take over from a retired farmer.Work together with the farmer

  4. Jessica Taylor July 19, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    I would love to find a meaningful way to earn my way into operating and someday owning my own farm. Its a far fetched dream for me though. I have no money and no transportation…


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