Practical Farmers of Iowa has launched its newly-redesigned FindAFarmer website. This land-matching tool was created to help connect landowners with land-seekers and facilitate the exchange of farmland to the next generation of farmers. You can view the site and register for free at findafarmer.net.
Originally launched in 2011, the website has been completely overhauled to enhance and simplify searching, communication between users, and ease of use on mobile and desktop devices. New features include:
An interactive map displaying locations of both landowners and land-seekers
A mobile-friendly design that works on smartphones and tablets
A revamped profile page lets users enter more detailed information about themselves, their farm or land, and their unique story
Ability to upload photos. Users can now include photos of themselves, as well as images of their land
Advanced search functions to filter landowners or land-seekers by dozens of criteria, such as location, size of farm, land type, farm enterprises or practices, whether the land is for sale or rent, and desired timeframe to transition the land
Ability to save lists of prospects that meet desired qualities in land, location, tenant, etc.
An updated message interface for easier communication with other users, including a notification function to alert users of new incoming messages
Social media sharing functions
Access to land is a major barrier for beginning farmers who want to start their own operation. Many families without heirs are also concerned about the future of their land and want to see that it continues as a vibrant family farm. FindaFarmer.net is an effort to address these problems as well as the widespread farmland transition about to take place. Iowa State University economists' estimate that 56% of Iowa farmland is owned by people over age 65, and 30% is owned by those older than 75.
FindaFarmer.net allows landowners and land-seekers to anonymously share information about themselves and their vision for the future, and provides a comfortable place for transition conversations to begin. Beginning farmer Rory Van Wyk and his wife, Lynette, successfully found their 40-acre farm on findafarmer.net.
Revamped website simplifies land-matching efforts
"I started a conversation with the seller and explained our dreams and how we wanted to farm," Rory says. "The seller received a few other offers but came back to us because they liked our vision. This is the farm the seller grew up on, and he had promised his dad to sell it to someone who would put it back into sustainable production."
Interest in the website has confirmed the need for such a tool. As of December 2013, the most recent data available, more than 1,300 messages had been sent between nearly 800 land-seekers and 150 landowners across the United States. These conversations have resulted in many successful land transitions.To start your own conversation about a land opportunity or need, register for free at FindaFarmer.net. For more information contact Steve Carlson at PFI at 515-232-5661 or [email protected].