SDSU Extension to hold workshops for beginning farmers/ranchers looking for land

SDSU Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension will host the workshop series, Farmland for the Next Generation, beginning August 14.

Supported by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the workshops are designed for individuals with some farming and/or ranching experience who are actively looking for land. The workshops will focus on skill-building and practical resources.

“Access to suitable land remains a chief obstacle for beginning farmers and ranchers,” said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension livestock business management field specialist. “Addressing barriers that keep new farmers from entering agriculture is also critical as senior agricultural landowners prepare to transfer more than 370 million acres in the next 10 to 20 years.”

She references 2012 Census of Agriculture data that shows numbers of farmers and ranchers fell 20 percent from 2007-2012, reaching a 30-year low.

Gessner will lead the workshops, which are components of American Farmland Trust’s Farmland for the Next Generation project. Gessner is one of the 25 experienced agricultural educators and service providers across the country serving in the inaugural class of Land Access Trainers.

Registration details

The six-week Farmland for the Next Generation workshop will be a combination of at-home worksheets and videos, face-to-face meetings and webinars.

Face-to-face meetings will be held at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell, located on the campus of Mitchell Technical Institute (1800 E. Spruce St.)

Face-to-face meetings and the webinar will begin at 7 p.m. A webinar link will be emailed prior to the webinar session. The registration deadline is July 25. To help cover costs, registration is $100 for up to two family members to participate. To register, visit

2018 Workshop Timeline

Participants should be committed to following the meeting times and deadlines for each session:

• July 25 – Registration deadline — all participants must be registered for the workshops by this date. (See above registration information.)

• August 6 – Postmark deadline for all first round at-home assignments.

• August 14 – Face-to-face meeting in Mitchell.

• August 21 – Online webinar.

• August 28 – Face-to-face meeting in Mitchell.

• September 7 – Postmark deadline for all second round at-home assignments.

• September 11 – Face-to-face meeting in Mitchell.

Topics covered

Topics covered during the six-week workshop will address and introduction to land tenure, financial readiness, land tenure options, finding land, land assessment, leasing land, and purchasing land.

If you have questions, contact Gessner at or 605-782-3290.