YA Ontario Land Access Guide

Protection of farmland and access to land by new farmers is one of our key priorities. We collaborate with a number of organizations to offer succession planning resources and promote policies that protect farmland for future generations. NFU-O is now partnering with Young Agrarians in Ontario to offer more resources and programming to support new and young farmers in accessing land and growing successful farms.

The purpose of this guide is to support new and landless farmers as they journey toward accessing land. In researching and writing this guide, the driving question has been: how have new farmers gotten onto land? There are several different options to
consider: from leasing and purchasing, to community farms and incubator plots —each with its own set of pro’s and con’s. Farming is hard work, and it takes significant planning, perseverance, and determination to be successful.

This guide will lead you through a brainstorming and reflection process to help frame your needs and directions. It will outline the various choices for accessing land. It provides useful tips for assessing land for farming, as well as a checklist for negotiating an agreement with a landowner. You will also find sample lease and license templates. We’ve included examples of different types of land access relationships—from leasing, to owning, to family tenure. All of the organizations, resources, and links cited throughout this guide are listed for your reference under Resources at the end.