We find ourselves in an era of mounting pressure on local food production: rising land costs and zoning are just two examples. Ten Rivers Food Web (TRFW), a 501(c)(3), based in Corvallis, Oregon, expanded its mission in 2016 to acquire and hold food land in perpetuity within a public benefit land trust. This Community Food Land Trust (CFLT) provides new farmers affordable access to food production land. It also provides a direct means for the local community to support and enhance a durable food system. We define Food Land as acreage that produces plant-based and animal-based food for human consumption.
How does the Community Food Land Trust Work?
The CFLT uses an innovative lease-purchase approach based on the community land trust legal model used nation-wide for affordable housing. Property is separated into:
TRFW/CFLT holds the deed and provides a 99-year Ground Lease to the farmer. The farmer buys any farming infrastructure such as houses, barns, greenhouses, orchards, irrigation systems, etc. A resale formula ensures that food land passes on to the next generation affodably.
Now through early 2017, the CFLT will be refining processes and policy documents related to land review, selection criteria for food land property acquisition, and the vetting of qualified farmers for lease-ownership of CFLT properties. We anticipate this will be in place and ready for the first CFLT property acquisition project in the spring of 2017. By this time we expect to have identified available food production properties within the Ten Rivers Food Web region, either available on the open real estate market, as a result of a legacy gift of land, or as part of a private farm succession plan. From those properties identified, we will select the first property to become a part of the CFLT and move forward with further "due diligence" information gathering about the property in preparation for the purchase. A major Land Acquisition Fundraising Campaign will be launched at that time to gather sufficient funds for land purchase and incidental expenses.
How can I help? How can I participate?
The CFLT’s vision of public trust ownership of lands within our local/regional food land commons, and ensuring that
they remain in production and affordable to farmers into perpetuity, can only happen with your help and participation.
There are many ways to get involved, including:
- Money: the focus of our fundraising effort now and in the coming years is to set the CFLT on solid, sustainable footing. You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time through our PayPal account. Please specify in the message that your donation is going towards the CFLT.
- Land: If you are a farmer with land, or the owner of land leased to a farmer, and the idea of ensuring food production on your land will continue into the future as part of your personal or family legacy, please contact us regarding Farm Succession Planning (also read our Succession Planning guide)and the possibility of creative ways to transfer land to TRFW’s CFLT in the future.
- Knowledge: If you have expertise in farm management, real estate, law, land stewardship, business development, land use planning and zoning, the local food web commons and farm-to-consumer networks, to name just a few, please contact us about serving on a committee!
- Give a Farmer a Chance: And…if you are currently a food farmer daunted by the economics of owning your own farm due to the unreasonably high costs of land and a business model that “just doesn’t pencil out”, and you wish to be considered for ownership of a future CFLT property, please contact us.
TRFW now accepts donations of money and land for the CFLT. We ask you to remember us in your estate and succession planning. Donations to Ten Rivers Food Web 501(c)3 are tax deductible. Federal Tax ID: #20-4923629.
First Alternative Food Co-op
Oceana Natural Food Co-op
Trillium Natural Foods
Calapooia Food Alliance
Santiam Food Alliance
Linn/Benton Community College – Profitable Small Farms Program
Rogue Farm Corps
Corvallis Sustainability Coalition
Mary's River Grange