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Finding a experienced farmer to learn from and help

 
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What might be a good way to find an Otis in my area? It's true that I would love to find somebody to potentially buy land from in a few years, but as that might be hard to find, I would be happy to find an Otis to learn stuff from! Maybe there is an Otis near me who would want a respectful, interested person to give advice to? Maybe I could help with some chores in exchange. But where to look? Is it time for another "good idea, bad idea"? Thanks for any advice. :)
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

This thread was split off of Paul Wheaton's thread "The Otis Test" in the PEP forum. Paul's thread talks about a hypothetical farmer named, Otis, who is looking for someone to inherit his farm. He has a hard time finding anyone skilled and hardworking enough. Because of people like "Otis," Paul created the PEP curriculum to so people can learn homesteading skills and show that they have them, and people can Otis can see what a potential heir is capable of doing.

 
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Kay Gelfling wrote:What might be a good way to find an Otis in my area? It's true that I would love to find somebody to potentially buy land from in a few years, but as that might be hard to find, I would be happy to find an Otis to learn stuff from! Maybe there is an Otis near me who would want a respectful, interested person to give advice to? Maybe I could help with some chores in exchange. But where to look? Is it time for another "good idea, bad idea"? Thanks for any advice. :)



Kay,
Try these resources. They're mostly for the east coast but may help you organize your thinking about how to find a local Otis.
Good luck.

http://landforgood.org/resources/toolbox/toolbox-farm-seekers/
https://www.landandfarm.com/

​Slow Money Investors
Connects investors to local food systems and small food enterprises.
http://slowmoney.org/ 
These are my area's but they may help you organize.
Dirt Capital Partners https://www.dirtpartners.com/
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT https://iroquoisvalleyfarms.com/
Local Farm Funds https://www.localfarmsfund.com/

I'd also recommend looking for Land Conservancy in your area. And do connect with your local University Cooperative Extension. You may additionally have a farm and farmer matching service in your area similar to ours in the Hudson Valley. Here's the link to my profile, for example; https://hudsonvalleyfarmlandfinder.org/find-a-farmer/farmer/2473
 
                        
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Location: NW Montana
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As someone looking for a potential farm to take over,I would like to add a few things to this discussion that I believe are being overlooked...


1. Most older farmers are not easy to find, because they are not active on the Internet. The only real way to find them is by word of mouth- a difficult proposition if you don't live in the same area as them...  


2. Location... Many who are looking for a farm to take over cannot find one in a location they desire or in one that fits their criteria... Such as States without onerous rules concerning the following: Homeschooling, off grid/ nonelectric living, building/code restrictions, Also distance from large cities and other environmental factors are at play, just to name a few things.


3. Financial burden/cost of land; Because of the prices of farms today, most would eventually have to get a mortgage to be able to take over a farm down the road, (unless it is truly being willed to them). Which makes it not worth taking over-they would have to spend so much time making money to pay the mortgage, insurances, taxes, etc, that running the farm becomes a business, rather than just running the farm as a way of living. Even without having a mortgage, just paying property taxes and insurance on an expensive farm can be more of a burden than many of us are willing to take on. The fact is, it would be better to buy a piece of bare ground and build a cheaper living quarters that does not need 'insurance' and has low taxes. The majority of farms today are just too expensive to operate for the return given todays market conditions- seeing how most people buy  Corporate processed food at the grocery store... Another factor is that most farms are simply too much of a burden these days because of all the technology required to run them...


5. Finding a farm that is being run in an organic fashion is almost impossible... Most farmers have been spraying pesticides and herbicides on their grounds making them undesirable.  


The bottom line is this; Farming is a heavily regulated/financially burdening proposition, and taking one over or even finding one in a location that suits the requirements of most of us who are looking is not a simple task-even if we have all the skills to run one.
   

So, if you know a farm/homestead that an older person is looking to pass on-that is organic, far from a large city, can be worked by hand, is in a home school friendly/low tax state, with few building codes/restrictions conducive to off-grid/nonelectric living, etc, I (and many others) would love to hear about it.

Best regards,
Steve

 
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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I added this thread to the "Land Shares" forum. It's a relatively new forum, and I've been spending a lot of time (at least 20 hours) sorting through 6 years worth of threads and adding them to this forum. ANYWAY, i say that because this thread is has a lot of threads about experienced people who are looking for those they wish to take under their wing and teach. There's also some of those type of people in the Internships and Apprenticeships forum (another new forum, one I've also added this thread to).

Some of the people who would like to share their land are older people looking for caretakers. Some are younger people who just want to share their land with others as a kind of mini-community. There's a lot of variety, but I think it's a great place to look for people to learn from and help.

I thought you might get more answers here in this forum, than in Paul's, and I think you've got a great question that I'm sure many other people have!
 
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Location: Zone 4b Ontario, Canada
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To Steve N Kari

How much acreage are you looking for, and in what zone?

Cheers!  K
 
Kay Gelfling
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Thank you very much for the info David! I will follow up on them and see what I can find!

Thank you Paul and Nicole for moving my post and moving / adding it to good threads! I'm still a bit of a newbie and hesitate when I post, hoping not to be out of order, so I'm grateful for all the help I can get.
 
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Not what you’re looking for, but other may find it useful...

https://civileats.com/2019/01/08/has-new-york-found-the-secret-to-linking-retiring-farmers-and-eager-upstarts/

The program that linked Gordon and Rockwood—Hudson Valley Farmlink Network (HVFN)—is being held up as a model of success by many organizations and advocates, and its approach will now be implemented across New York State. Last October, the national group that launched HVFN, American Farmland Trust (AFT), announced a new land-linking program called Farmland for a New Generation New York, funded by $400,000 in state funds for the first year as part of a larger state investment in farmland protection.


 
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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