More than 40 percent of American farmland, over 370 million acres, will change hands over the next 10 to 20 years. This massive transfer of farm real estate from one generation to the next offers one of the greatest threats to farmland — if these farms are sold to developers — or potentially one of the best opportunities for new farmers looking for land.
Over nearly four decades, AFT has helped to permanently protect more than five million acres of farmland and ranchland. Through a network of regional and state offices, AFT works side-by-side with communities to plan for agriculture, advance effective state and federal policies, and address the most critical issues facing family farms today — including initiatives to assist next generation farmers and women owners of agricultural land.
AFT’s national Farm Legacy initiative works to ensure that land remains in farming as it transitions to the next generation, while improving access to land for new farmers — honoring the nation’s farming and ranching legacy and securing its future. The comprehensive Farm Legacy initiative leverages AFT’s unique position as the only national organization that focuses on farmland and ranchland and the people who steward it. The initiative involves:
- Training and assisting farmers and farmland owners about farm transfer planning, including integrating farmland protection into their future decisions
- Advancing policy initiatives (such as measures to reduce capital gains taxes) to help facilitate successful transfers of farmland, with a focus on helping new farmers secure land
- Forming strategic partnerships with like-minded agricultural and conservation organizations