Welcome to the literature area of the FIC Web site. Here you will find a collection of articles, books, fact sheets and technical memos, reports and studies related to saving farm and ranch land and supporting agriculture. You can filter by state, topic and/or type of document ("category"). Use the Search feature to conduct a more refined search.

Title: WSDA Future of Farming Project: Status of Existing Programs for Protecting Agricultural Land in Washington
Publisher: Seattle, WA: American Farmland Trust

This is the second paper in a series that presents an overview of current agricultural land protection needs and efforts in Washington.

This paper outlines current farmland protection programs and their limitations. Together the papers present a comprehensive study of the problem of vanishing farmland, the existing policies, and improvements Washington can make to its agricultural land protection strategy.

The first paper is "WSDA Future of Farming Project: Working Paper on Statistics of Farmland in Washington."

Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 , Author: Don Stuart , Page Numbers: 34
Nid: 39234
Title: WSDA Future of Farming Project: Working Paper and Statistics on Farmland in Washington
Publisher: Seattle, WA: American Farmland Trust

Among the critical issues faced by Washington’s farmers and ranchers in the years ahead will be access to land. As the population of our state continues to grow, the cost of land is likely to continue rising. Already many farmers are finding themselves unable to afford to expand their operations. New farmers are finding it difficult to enter farming. And some find it necessary to sell land for development or other non-agricultural uses.

Much of this upward pressure on the price of agricultural land is driven by competition from land uses other than agriculture. How serious is this problem? How widespread within the agriculture
industry in Washington? What impacts is it already having on our industry and what effect is it likely to have in the years ahead? What, if anything, might we be able to do about it?

This paper is designed to provide some of the basic statistical information that will help us answer those questions.

Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 , Author: Don Stuart , Page Numbers: 14
Nid: 39233
Title: Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans
Publisher: Washington, DC: USDA Farm Service Agency

This guide was written for people who need assistance starting, expanding, or owning a farm or ranch. If you are thinking about borrowing money to start or expand your business, it is a good idea to ask yourself several questions before you begin. Before you borrow money, you need to invest time in learning about your options and the procedures to apply for a loan. This guide will help you identify concerns and questions you may have before you start the loan process.

Date: Friday, June 1, 2012 , Author: Vanessa Bitterman, Jennifer Hashley, David DeFreest , Page Numbers: 74
Nid: 1983911413
Title: Your Land is Your Legacy: A Guide to Planning for the Future of Your Farm
Publisher: Washington, DC: American Farmland Trust

Successful estate planning and farm transfer require effective communication and a team effort—including financial, farm management, tax and legal expertise. Because plans must be tailored to individual circumstances, they must be designed to meet a variety of unique situations. 

This guide provides information and examples to help assess your own situation and form an action plan. The guide discusses basic estate planning as well as some strategies and techniques to transfer your operation and land, using case studies and examples to illustrate some of these. While special emphasis is placed on conservation options, the guide covers a variety of approaches to keeping land available to the next generation. Since combining land transfer and protection can complicate other estate planning efforts, it is important to understand all the alternatives.

Date: Friday, January 1, 2010 , Author: Jeremiah P. Cosgrove and Julia Freedgood , Page Numbers: 65
Nid: 1983911308
Title: Your Land is Your Legacy: Estate Planning for Farmers and Ranchers
Publisher: Washington, DC: American Farmland Trust

A sound transfer and estate plan should accomplish three primary goals:

  • Develop and transfer management skills and responsibility
  • Transfer ownership of the agricultural operation, land and other assets
  • Ensure financial security and peace of mind for all generations

Creating a sound transfer and estate plan will require an investment of time and money. But leaving your family and your land without a plan will eventually cost much more—maybe even cost you your farm or ranch. So call a trusted advisor, convene a kitchen-table meeting, put together your planning team and get started—the sooner the better.

Date: Monday, March 26, 2018 , Author: Jerry Cosgrove , Page Numbers: 8
Nid: 1983911714
Title: Zoning for Solar Energy: Resource Guide
Publisher: White Plains, NY: Land Use Law Center

This document is designed to help New York State localities amend zoning and other land use regulations to permit the development of solar energy systems in their jurisdictions. While it applies to many types of solar energy systems, this resource guide focuses primarily on solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) systems. It begins by describing the local government’s role in land use planning and regulation. It then discusses the importance of defining all solar energy systems that a community wants to allow in existing zoning districts and shows how to incorporate those definitions in the zoning ordinance. Next, the guide explains how a municipality can amend zoning to permit these systems either as principal, secondary, accessory, or specially permitted land uses in existing zoning districts, as well as how to exempt certain systems from zoning altogether. The resource then explains how relevant bulk and area requirements must be amended to accommodate permitted solar energy systems. Subsequently, the guide discusses how to amend site plan requirements to include standards for solar energy systems, examines how local governments can modify environmental impact review under SEQRA, and considers the role of other local boards in streamlining the approval process for solar energy systems. Beyond permitting solar energy systems, the guide discusses ways to amend land use laws to either require or encourage them. Throughout, this document provides helpful resources and examples that communities can use when regulating to allow, encourage, or require various solar energy systems. Although land use terminology may vary by regional and jurisdictional practice, the examples generally represent approaches discussed throughout the guide. The examples are intended to be illustrative samples and are not intended to be an endorsement of the content.

Date: Monday, February 12, 2018 , Author: Jessica Bacher and John Nolon , Page Numbers: 30
Nid: 1983911631
Title: Zoning Limitations and Opportunities for Farm Enterprise Diversification: Searching for New Meaning in Old Definitions
Publisher: Fayetteville, AR: The National Agricultural Law Center

To aid agricultural zoning practitioners in understanding the theories and arguments under which a farmer’s use of his or her land will pass muster with local zoning officials, this article will explore the development of the body of law defining commercial agricultural operations in relation to state and local zoning exemptions in an effort to provide a continuum of how courts have expanded the definition of farm and agriculture exemptions in zoning ordinances with the hope that we might predict how courts in the future will interpret new farm diversification efforts. To help accomplish this goal, the cases cited herein include generous recitations of their facts to better illustrate some of the dynamics that affect changes in farming operations and to give credence to the rules of construction in all of these types of cases that seek to define an often ambiguous term. Most of these decisions are based on the facts

Date: Thursday, May 1, 2008 , Author: Robert Andrew Branan , Page Numbers: 41
Nid: 37394
Title: Zoning to Protect Farming: A Citizens' Guidebook / National Agricultural Lands Study
Publisher: Washington, DC: National Agricultural Lands Study , Publication Name: National Agricultural Lands Study

This publication is for citizens interested in zoning to protect farming. It ex- plains reasons people give for protecting farms and farmland, describes how farms are converted to non-agricultural uses, explains zoning tools available to protect farming and includes some references to community case studies of farmland protection programs. It shows how people can help develop their own program to protect farming. People are advised on how to make the community aware of the problem, how to plan to protect farming, how to turn a farming protection plan into law, and what to do after a farming protection program has been implemented.

Date: Thursday, January 1, 1981 , Author: William Toner , Page Numbers: 36
Nid: 37330