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Programs in US match fledgling farmers, landowners

November 18, 2012 • Business


In this Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 photo, Schuyler Gail poses with her daughter Tillie at the family’s Climbing Tree Farm in New Lebanon, N.Y. When Schuyler and husband Colby Gail were trying to get started in farming, they ran into an obstacle common to many fledgling farmers: Land was costly and hard to find. They turned to a local land conservancy, which matched them up with a landowner willing to sell for an affordable price. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — When Schuyler and Colby Gail were trying to get started in farming, they ran into an obstacle common to many fledgling farmers: Land was expensive and hard to find.

They turned to a local land conservancy, which matched them up with a landowner willing to sell at an affordable price. Now, they raise pigs, lambs and poultry on their farm in New Lebanon, 25 miles southeast of Albany near the Massachusetts border.

“We were able to come to a better financial agreement because the landowners were excited about what we were doing,” said Schuyler Gail, who launched Climbing Tree Farm a year ago with her husband, a carpenter. “It wouldn’t be the same if we bought land off the regular real estate market.”

To keep land in agricultural production and help a new generation start farming as older farmers near retirement, land conservancies and other farm preservation groups have launched a growing number of landowner-farmer matching programs like the Login to read more

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