Welcome to PASA’s Farm Lease Connection (FLC), a program that blends web technology with personal communication to build successful farm enterprises between new or expanding farmers and landowners of all kinds. Parcels of land as small as ¼ acre or encompassing hundreds of acres are all potentially eligible for inclusion in the program. The program currently hosts listings for land in Pennsylvania and New Jersey although farmers may register certainly register from outside of these locations.
Beginning farmers cite access to land as the number one barrier to farming. Increasingly, the next generation of farmers is coming from highly educated urban and suburban backgrounds. Unlike previous generations, they do not have access to farmland through inheritance or family connections. At the same time, conscientious landowners across Pennsylvania have protected thousands of acres of land through being good stewards of their property themselves, to making more formal arrangements through conservation and preservation easements. FLC’s goal is to unite these landowners with farmers through the creation of equitable land leasing to support sustainable farming statewide and beyond.
There is currently no fee to participate in the program; all it takes is a completed application registration and a desire to support sustainable farming community on your property.
Although we do not require the farmers in the leasing program to receive Food Alliance certification, we do ask that you encourage them to follow Food Alliance’s commitment to safe and fair working conditions, humane animal treatment and careful stewardship of ecosystems. For more information about Food Alliance, click here.
How does Farm Lease Connection (FLC) work?
Once you register, you will be given access to log into the FLC site and search the confidential listings of farmers looking for land like yours. The listings contain basic information like whether or not the farmer has a business plan and what their tentative farm plans are, to preserve user privacy and keep both parties open to considering a variety of options.When you show interest in a potential match, FLC staff receive a notification and will contact you for further details about what you are looking for. Then, we take the relationship building process to the next level: by arranging phone interviews, site visits and in-person, mediated meetings.
If both parties determine a successful match can be made, FLC will point you toward a range of valuable land leasing resources to help you navigate the leasing process.
Leasing is a great way for landowners to responsibly steward their land, receive tax abatement's and support sustainable farming in their communities without having to sell their property. To read about a real-life situation in which PASA's leasing program helped create a new farm enterprise between a farmer and landowner, click here.
How Do I Begin?
Fill out and submit a Landowner Application registration. Once you register, you will receive an account activation email at the email address you used on your registration. If you don't receive an email within a couple of minutes, check your spam folder to make sure it didn't get misdirected. After clicking on the activation link in the email, you will be able to use the username and password you created on your registration to log into the FLC site and search for farmers.
If you haven’t done so already, start thinking about what kind of agricultural practices you’d like to see on your land and visit similar operations in your area to get a sense of how your property will look and feel. Understanding your goals and objectives will make it easier to find a farmer who shares your vision.
How Long Will It Take?
Matching farmers and landowners is not a quick process. It takes time to find the right combination of people and land. FLC encourages participants to apply at least two years before they are ready to break ground on a new farm business.
Helpful Resources for Landowners
FLC has a blog where landowners and farmers can read about and discuss land leasing topics; an event calendar with links to helpful classes, workshops and conferences; and a list of resources and other organizations with proven track records of assisting landowners interested in sustainably preserving their land. You can also contact us.
Land Leasing Checklist for Farmers and Landowners
Click here to see PASA's land leasing checklist. It's a helpful starting point for farmers and landowners interested in forming a leasing partnership. PASA will help you ask the right questions and build relationships with potential farmer tenants, but we do not assist in the creation of the actual lease.
Land Leasing FAQ
Click here to see a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions and legal definitions prepared for PASA by researchers at Penn State University's Dickinson School of Law.
Recommended Land Leasing Consultants
George Elser, Esq. can offer legal guidance involving farm land leases, land conservation, dispute mediation and legal ethics. He typically represents individuals, families, small businesses and non-profit organizations. To schedule a consultation with George, please contact him at
or by phone at 610-964-9627.
Ted LeBow, business consultant/COO & Partner at Philly CowShare, has nearly 25 years experience advising small business owners and local farms, with a focus on making sure they are profitable. Ted brings a unique combination of advisor, owner and business perspective to the table. As a partner in Philadelphia CowShare (www.phillycowshare) and long time farmer and small business owner (he got his first loan from the Production Credit Association to buy steers at age 13, in Idaho) Ted works with numerous local farms and small businesses in Philadelphia area. To schedule a consultation with Ted, contact him at
or 610-324-6973. He also offers a PASA member discount so be sure to mention it!
FLC has a blog where farmers and landowners can read posts written by others involved in leasing and comment about their own experiences; an event calendar with links to helpful classes, workshops and conferences; and the list of resources and other organizations below with proven track records of assisting new and beginning farmers. You can also contact us directly!
Agricultural/Land Stewardship Organizations: PASA, Natural Lands Trust, Land Trust Alliance, Food Alliance, Land for Good, Northeast Beginning Farmer "Trainer's Toolbox" containing excellent free webinars on the leasing process.
Forms & Templates: Sample Land Lease, Land for Good's lease templates, Harvard Law School's negotiation tips and resources.
Land Leasing Research: Greenspace Alliance's "The Economic Value of Open Protected Space" (2012), Temple University's Fox School of Business Market Feasibility Study (2010), American Farmland Trust/Univ. Connecticut's Farm Lease ConneCTion leasing guide (2011).