BFRDP Projects

Land Access Solutions for Illinois` Next-Generation Farmers
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $638,303
Grant Program: 2022 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Education Projects
Project Director: Nathan Aaberg
Organization: The Land Connection


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The number one challenge beginning farmers face is find and securing affordable, appropriate farmland. To address this issue in Illinois, The Land Connection’s project, “Land Access Solutions for Illinois’ Next-Generation Farmers,” has launched a farmland access program for the entire state – Illinois FarmLink – with a director, three advisor-navigators, and a website.

The Illinois FarmLink team is addressing farmland access challenges in three ways. First, the program empowers farmers to be more effective and knowledgeable in their access searches. This is done through the navigators’ free advising sessions as well as education programs and presentations. Second, the program seeks to directly connect farmers and farmland owners through the website’s online profile system, networking events, and promoting farmers and farmland opportunities in our monthly email newsletter. Third, Illinois FarmLink provides access to the best land access resources from around the country and has begun developing its own unique resources that address topics not covered by other organizations’ resources.

Because farmland owners are so fundamental to the farmland access success and because farmland succession can make or break farmland’s future availability to farmers, Illinois FarmLink offers those same three groups of services to farmland owners as well. Illinois FarmLink has also begun partnering with other organizations around succession planning education programming.

In the coming year, Illinois FarmLink will also launch a statewide working group of organizations with the common goal of addressing key land access challenges in the state in coordinated ways. The program is also committed to "living" equity that will root the program in the principles of justice, diversity, equity, and belonging.

To build further awareness of Illinois FarmLink and its services, we will be advertising the program  extensively (in print, radio, and online) and conduct outreach to our networks of partners and farmers.

Number of Participants: 214


Promotional Materials

There are no promotional materials available for this project.

Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

There are no reports or evaluations available for this project.

Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success