Acres USA magazine November 2018 As we head into the holiday season, we turn our thoughts toward gratitude for the bountiful harvest and ways to make next year even more fruitful on our farms, ranches and homesteads.

We hope you enjoy all the articles from our November 2018 issue, complete with features by Virginia farmer Joel Salatin on leasing land; a double look at the state of organic dairying by Tracy Frisch and Maria Dimengo revealing what farmers are doing to find new revenue streams; ways to support dung beetles on your pastures by Spencer Smith; and programs helping veterans-turned-farmers across the country.

You’ll also find articles on social media marketing for the farm, housing considerations for raising meat rabbits, growing buckwheat, a chef revitalizing Native American indigenous foodways, and much more.

 

Here’s an excerpt from the lead feature article by Joel Salatin on leasing land:

A lease is a partnership, and you need buy-in from the landlord. Once you have an interested landowner, you must discuss ex­pectations. Every landowner has a hot button. For one, it may be this­tles. For another, it may be lane main­tenance. Fences, visitors, landscape appearance — these all enter into the discussions.

Always remember that managing land is an incredible privilege. Few people get to viscerally touch land anymore; to do so is an honor. Treat the land and the landowner that way and the respect will show through the discussions.

We have one landowner who doesn’t want any animals there dur­ing hunting season. The farm is his getaway from a high-pressure busi­ness, and he doesn’t want his hunt­ing encumbered with electric fence gates and animals when he seeks his solitude. That’s not always easy to ac­commodate, but it’s certainly doable.

Often in farming, some non-portable capitalization may be re­quired. That’s always ticklish on un-owned land. For our operation, it’s buried waterlines, perhaps pond development, electric fences and corrals for livestock. Portable and semi-portable infrastructure helps, of course. Here is our solution. We pay for non-portable capital improve­ments and have one year to install whatever we want to install. At the end of the year, we put an addendum on the lease with the cost and payback plan. The payback is a simple 20-year amortization (5 percent per year) for­giveness. No money changes hands.

If our cost is $20,000, then $1,000 (5 percent) comes off each year until it goes to zero. If the lease breaks be­fore that time, regardless of fault, the landowner must pay us the leftover amount of the infrastructure capital­ization cost. This arrangement frees us up to develop as completely and rapidly as we want without asking the landowner for money, and it protects us from the landowner kicking us off once we do all the development. It also creates a de facto 20-year lease out of an actual 5-year lease.

Also in this issue:

Daniela Ibarra-HowellChris Walters shares an in-depth interview with Savory Institute co-founder and CEO Daniela Ibarra-Howell who has decades of international experience in holistic management, ranching and ecosystems restoration programs. Ibarra-Howell provides insights into supporting a global network of producers farming for a healthy future for people and the planet. 

You can download this issue for $6.00.

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