Access to Farmland
One of the most common questions new and beginning farmers have focuses on finding land. With land values skyrocketing and the cost of purchase out of reach for many, there is a desperate need for alternatives.
Evaluating Farmland Resources
Lease Literacy for Farmers & Farmland Owners
Leasing land for your farm is an economical way to start building farm skills, infrastructure, an enterprise mix, and develop a market. The benefits to not having a large capital investment in land can make a lot of sense, especially for those on a tight budget. But the pitfalls to renting farmland without a clearly written lease are many and often legendary. The days of the handshake deal, if there ever were any, are long gone. Both landlord and tenant are protected with a well-written lease that spells out the who/what/where/when details as much as possible.
Lease Literacy Resources
Land Use Regulations
One of the first rude surprises many new and beginning farmers face are the myriad rules and regulations that govern what they can and cannot do on a specific piece of property. From floodplain rules that govern what, if any, structures are allowed and where they can be located to regulations covering where you can put a new driveway or even have public events, the number of rules and regulations affecting farmers can seem overwhelming. On top of that, simply determining whether you need to be talking with federal, state, or local county personnel on a particular land use topic can be more than a little confusing. While county rules will differ some depending on jurisdiction, there are strong similarities across the board no matter where you are in Washington State.
Washington Water Rights 101
Depending on where you are farming in Washington State, having legal access to water for irrigation and livestock can make or break an operation. And unlike many other parts of the US, the laws governing surface and groundwater usage in Washington are complex, fraught with challenges and confusion, and very often misunderstood.
Water & Irrigation Resources