American Farmland Trust is a national leader in protecting agricultural land, as well as promoting environmentally-sound farming practices and keeping farmers on their farmland. AFT has just received an award from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture under the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program to fund the “Transitioning Land to a New Generation: Preparing Trainers to Help Facilitate Transfer” program. The funding amount of $750,000 will go to develop a skills-based curriculum to support a new generation of producers and agricultural landowners as they confront the complex financial, legal, and interpersonal issues related to their agricultural land and business transfer. “More than 40 percent of American farmland is owned by people 65 and older,” says Julia Freedgood, AFT Director of Farms for a New Generation. “Given they are at retirement age, the land is likely to change hands in the foreseeable future.” At the same time, she says it’s difficult for a new generation of farmers and ranchers to acquire affordable land with appropriate housing and infrastructure due to farm consolidation, appreciation of land values, conversion of farmland to development, and a tight supply of available land. “American Farmland Trust will be working with a national cohort of service providers to help bridge the gap,” Freedgood says.