farmland summit

October 21, 2019 - 10am-6pm

Anderson Center, 163 Tower View Drive, Red Wing, Minnesota 

Registration required ($35) 

Click Here To Register

The Upper Midwest Farmland Summit is a gathering that will move the needle forward on farmland access and transfer in the Upper Midwest. Our goal for this Summit is to accelerate change towards systems where new farmers can more readily access affordable farmland and retiring farmers have easier and more satisfactory options for transferring their farms. Through this Summit, we hope to strengthen our networks and explore current efforts in farmland access and transfer as well as inspire new thinking and move towards meaningful action. 

The Farmland Summit will host leaders from across the nation who will share their experience and help us to develop our strategies. The Farmland Summit is Monday, October 21st, and is hosted in conjunction with the National Farm Viability Conference, which is Tuesday, October 22nd through Thursday, October 24th. 

10:00 - 10:20

Introduction - Jan Joannides, Renewing the Countryside

Welcome - Thom Petersen, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

10:20 - 11:00

Voices from the Countryside - perspectives on access and transfer from the Upper Midwest

Fred Kirschenmann, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture; Kate Graham, Fafinski Mark & Johnson P.A.; Jennifer Nelson, Humble Pie Farm; and Jaime Villalaz, Latino Economic Development Center 

Moderated by Commissioner Thom Petersen

11:00 - 11:30

Framing the Issues & Trends in Farmland Access and Transfer 

Kathy Ruhf, Land for Good

Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition

11:30 - 11:45

Farmland Access Hub—Overview

Julie Ristau, Main Street Project

11:45 - 12:30

Stories From the Farmland Access Hub

Kate Edwards, Wild Woods Farm and Renewing the Countryside, and Brett Olson, Renewing the Countryside, and Kristin Pearson, Pearson Organics

Moderated by Greg Padget, Practical Farmers of Iowa

12:30- 1:30


1:30 - 3:45

Successful Models

Introduced by Karen Stettler, Land Stewardship Project


California Farm Link - Creating a Robust System of Support

Liya Schwartzman, California Farm Link


Hudson Valley Farmlink Network & NY State efforts

Suzanna Denison, American Farmland Trust 


Farmland Easements & Balancing Finances

Sam Smith, Intervale Center


PCC Farmland Trust - How a Natural Food Co-op Got into the Business of Farmland

Amy Moreno-Sills, PCC Farmland Trust

 3:45 - 4:00


4:00 - 4:30

Strategies to Shift our Trajectory

Susan Stokes, Lind Jensen Sullivan & Peterson (and former Minnesota Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner)

4:30 - 6:00

Breakout Discussions and Identifying Opportunities for Action

6:00 – 7:00

Reception (Cash bar and light refreshments)

The Farmland Summit is convened by the Farmland Access Hub:

Renewing the Countryside, Compeer Financial, The Conservation Fund, Dakota County, Farmers’ Legal Action Group, The Good Acre, Hmong American Partnership, Hmong American Farmers Association, Iroquois Valley Farms, Lakewinds Food Co-op, Land for Good, Land Stewardship Project, Main Street Project, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Mighty Axe Hops, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota Food Association/The Food Group, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Sustainable Farming Association, Twin Cities Agricultural Land Trust, University of Minnesota Extension

With Generous Support from:



and the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program


For additional questions: 612-251-7304 or [email protected]

Speaker Bios