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Farmland Commons Template Documents

The Farmland Commons template documents were created from decades of experience in farmland transfer, protection, and tenure work rooted in community. These templates were brought to life in collaboration with Sustainable Law Group's Land Clinic, and brought together an extensive and diverse group of reviewers (listed below) to give valuable input , guidance, and feedback.

These documents are best used after reviewing the Farmland Commons Process page.

USE AGREEMENT

By downloading, sharing, using, and/or publishing these documents, you: (1) acknowledge having read and are in general agreement with the "Why a Farmland Commons" framework, (2) agree to utilize the name Farmland Commons and credit The Farmers Land Trust in connection with all uses of these documents and the contain contained therein, and (3) acknowledge and accept the Farmland Commons being provided on an open-source basis under a non-commercial Creative Commons license and agree to adhere to the terms of such license.

Framing Guidance:

The Farmland Commons values national and local and the interconnections and collaborations that can exist when both are prioritized. The Farmland Commons is a model that provides national templates and structures to ensure shared priorities and practices in collaboration with and dependent on local (state-community-land) desires, values, goals and vision, identity, and regulations and law. Local foundational understandings, experience, and wisdom should be brought into these documents and agreements by the communities working to adapt them to their place.

 

Questions to think about as you read the templates and apply to the documents as fitting for your community:
 

  • How can these documents and the process be made more accessible to all involved in your Farmland Commons, helping to continue strengthening all relationships in the direction of mutual trust and understanding?

  • What foundational understandings and agreements seem most aligned and worth keeping in the documents, and what, if anything, would best to remove from the templates?

 

  • What are some changes that could be made to the documents to further address forms of equity, capital, safety, farm ecology and enterprise autonomy, ecosystem stewardship, data collection, accounting, storytelling, and farm viability?

Equity and Land-Based Practices

First, the invested stakeholders find their common ground through agreement on shared Equity and Land-Based Practices. These practices support shared understandings on aligned values, farm practices and vision.

DOWNLOAD EQUITY AND LAND-BASED PRACTICES TEMPLATE

Bylaws

Second, the Bylaws are then used with Articles of Incorporation to frame and structure these values and vision into a nonprofit, collaborative, community-centered land-holding structure, i.e., “Farmland Commons.” and incorporate at the state and then federal level.

DOWNLOAD BYLAWS TEMPLATE

Lease

Third, only after these shared values and governance processes are agreed on and the Farmland Commons entity is incorporated with land, the Farmer and the Commons agree on the Lease terms. The Lease frames expectations, agreements, rights and responsibilities between the Farmer, the Common’s board and land.
DOWNLOAD LEASE TEMPLATE

Farm Management Plan

Fourth, a living, annually reviewed and updated plan and aggregation of documents on farm and agriculture, stewardship, management practices, infrastructure and improvements, and equity considerations.
DOWNLOAD FARM MANAGEMENT PLAN TEMPLATE

Farmland Commons Template
Review Committee

The Farmers Land Trust and the many stakeholder communities exploring and engaging with the Farmland Commons model now and into the future thank the following reviewers for sharing their input, thoughts, questions, and wisdom. We are grateful to be in community and in this work with the following people and organizations, and we are grateful for the valuable time and expertise they gave in bringing these templates to fruition.

Alex Corren, ReCommon, Colorado

Anthony Villa, Villa Acres, Tennessee

C.J. Sentell, The Nashville Food Project, Tennessee

Caroline Hutchins, Cumberland River Compact, Tennessee

Chris Giersch, ReCommon, Colorado

Chris Smith, The Utopian Seed Project, North Carolina

Clay Venetis, Fairbanks Farm Access, Alaska

Daphne Kingsley, Light Root Community Farm, Colorado

David Howard, National Young Farmers Coalition, Washington, DC

David Outman, Living Lands Trust, Massachusetts

Don Kretschmann, Kretschmann Farm, Pennsylvania

Elicia Whittlesey, Fort Lewis College, Colorado

Gabriela González Martínez, Earthquitectura, Mexico

George Cheney, Fort Lewis College, Colorado

Henning Sehmsdorf, S&S Homestead Farm, Washington

John Gagnon, Sundance Commons, Canada

Mark Voss, Latitude Regenerative Real Estate, Wisconsin

Maurice Wofford, Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh (B.U.G.S.), Pennsylvania

Natasha van Bentum, Foodlands Cooperative of British Columbia, Canada

Piper Wood, Women, Food, and Agriculture Network, Iowa

Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons, Minnesota

Shani Mink, Jewish Farmers Network,
New York

Tamarya Sims, Soulfull Simone Farm, North Carolina

Thomas Kliment, Kulturland-Genossenschaft, Germany

Veryl Pow, Sustainable Economies Law Center, California

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