Non operator Landowner Survey: North Carolina

Little data exists on the millions of Americans who own and lease agricultural land but do not farm it themselves—people we call “non-operator landowners” or NOLs. American Farmland Trust’s mission is to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers on the land. We cannot meet our mission without engaging this critical group of agricultural landowners. We have also found that NOLs are keenly interested in stewarding their land well, even if they aren’t farming it themselves.

In 2018, AFT began surveying NOLs across the country to increase our knowledge and understanding of how to serve this audience better. This fact sheet presents select survey findings for North Carolina.

Non operator Landowner Survey: California

Little data exists on the millions of Americans who own and lease agricultural land but do not farm it themselves—people we call “non-operator landowners” or NOLs. American Farmland Trust’s mission is to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers on the land. We cannot meet our mission without engaging this critical group of agricultural landowners. We have also found that NOLs are keenly interested in stewarding their land well, even if they aren’t farming it themselves.

In 2018, AFT began surveying NOLs across the country to increase our knowledge and understanding of how to serve this audience better. This fact sheet presents select survey findings for California.

Non operator Landowner Survey:Texas results

Little data exists on the millions of Americans who own and lease agricultural land but do not farm it themselves—people we call “non-operator landowners” or NOLs. American Farmland Trust’s mission is to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers on the land. We cannot meet our mission without engaging this critical group of agricultural landowners. We have also found that NOLs are keenly interested in stewarding their land well, even if they aren’t farming it themselves.

In 2018, AFT began surveying NOLs across the country to increase our knowledge and understanding of how to serve this audience better. This fact sheet presents select survey findings for Texas.

Non operator Landowner Survey: Illinois Results

Little data exists on the millions of Americans who own and lease agricultural land but do not farm it themselves—people we call “non-operator landowners” or NOLs. American Farmland Trust’s mission is to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers on the land. We cannot meet our mission without engaging this critical group of agricultural landowners. We have also found that NOLs are keenly interested in stewarding their land well, even if they aren’t farming it themselves.

In 2018, AFT began surveying NOLs across the country to increase our knowledge and understanding of how to serve this audience better. This fact sheet presents select survey findings for Illinois.

Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL)

The Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey is a study of agricultural landowners—including non-operator landlords—conducted by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). The survey provides data about land ownership, income, expenses, debt, assets, landlord characteristics, and agricultural landowners’ land transfer plans.

Census of Agriculture

The Census of Agriculture is the most comprehensive source of data portraying our nation’s agriculture over time. The census is conducted every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). On April 11, 2019, NASS released the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

2012 National Resources Inventory

1997-2002 2002-2007 2007-2012 1982-2012 Agricultural land converted to developed land (acres) 4,867,400 3,539,100 1,824,500 24,498,500 Agricultural land at the beginning of the reporting period (acres) 937,815,600 926,494,400 918,305,300 971,232,700 Prime agricultural land at the beginning of the reporting period (acres) 271,816,400 267,502,300 264,112,000 281,483,300 Forest land converted to developed land (acres) 4,062,400 2,718,200 1,406,700 17,705,200 … Continued

2018-2019 Non-Operator Landowner Survey

Despite their growing importance, we know very little about non-operating landowners and more importantly, even less about how best to reach, engage and motivate them. Limited research indicates that there may be a linkage between rented land and lack of conservation practices on the land, which results in detrimental environmental impacts. Even more troubling, some of the areas with the highest rates of rental land align with those experiencing high rates of nutrient losses. But the potential for positive change is great!  In response to this data gap, American Farmland Trust partnered with Utah State University to conduct a survey of non-operator landowners. The AFT survey was developed in 2013-2014 by the Non-Operating Landowner National Survey Work Group. This group consists of researchers, practitioners and policy makers involved in working with and/or researching non-operating landowners.

Cris Coffin

Cris helps guide AFT’s federal and state policy engagement. She also directs the National Agricultural Land Network, which supports state and local governments, land trusts, agricultural service providers, planners, and conservation organizations and builds their capacity to advance farmland protection. From 2015 to 2018, Cris served as policy director for Land For Good, a New England-based organization with which AFT often collaborates. But before that, Cris … Continued

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