Find A Farmer Website Helps Connect Landowners and Land-Seekers

Redesigned site features interactive map, detailed search filters and easier messaging tools

For Release: May 13, 2015

Ames, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa is happy to announce the launch of its newly redesigned Find A Farmer website. This land-matching tool was created to help connect landowners with land-seekers and facilitate the exchange of farmland to the next generation of farmers. View the site and register for free at http://findafarmer.net.

Originally launched in 2011, the website has been completely overhauled to enhance and simplify searching, communication between users, and ease of use on mobile and desktop devices. New features include:

  • An interactive map displaying locations of both landowners and land-seekers
  • A mobile-friendly design that works on smartphones and tablets
  • A revamped profile page that lets users enter more detailed information about themselves, their farm or land, and their unique story
  • The ability to upload photos. Users can now include photos of themselves, as well as images of their land
  • Advanced search functions to filter landowners or land-seekers by dozens of criteria, such as location, size of farm, land type, farm enterprises or practices, whether the land is for sale or rent, and the desired timeframe to transition the land
  • The ability to save lists of prospects that meet desired qualities in land, location, tenant, etc.
  • An updated message interface for easier communication with other users, including a notification function to alert users of new incoming messages
  • Social media sharing functions

Access to land is a major barrier for beginning farmers who want to start their own operation. Many families without heirs are also concerned about the future of their land and want to see that it continues as a vibrant family farm. FindaFarmer.net is an effort to address these problems – as well as the widespread farmland transition about to take place. Iowa State University estimates that 56 percent of Iowa farmland is owned by people over age 65, and 30 percent is owned by those older than 75.

FindaFarmer.net allows landowners and land-seekers to anonymously share information about themselves and their vision for the future, and provides a comfortable place for transition conversations to begin. Beginning farmer Rory Van Wyk and his wife, Lynette, successfully found their 40-acre farm on findafarmer.net.

“I started a conversation with the seller and explained our dreams and how we wanted to farm,” Rory says. “They received a few other offers but came back to us because they liked our vision. This is the farm the seller grew up on, and he had promised his dad to sell it to someone who would put it back into sustainable production.”

Interest in the website has confirmed the need for such a tool. As of December 2013, the most recent data available, more than 1,300 messages had been sent between nearly 800 land-seekers and 150 landowners across the United States. These conversations have resulted in many successful land transitions.

To start your own conversation about a land opportunity or need, register for free at http://FindaFarmer.net.

Funding for this website is provided by Cedar Tree Foundation and member donations. Gung-Ho! Creative, a Web design company based in Pittsburgh – and founded by a former Practical Farmers of Iowa staff member – led the redesign effort.

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Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers that seeks to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more.  For additional information, call (515) 232-5661 or visit http://practicalfarmers.org.

Contact:

Steve Carlson | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]

Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]