Appraisals for Working Land Easements

Working lands easements help farmers pass on their land to the next generation by allowing landowners to sell or donate their development rights.  This gives them cash without forcing them to sell parcels of land, allows them to continue farming, reduces the land value for the next generation, and protects the land from development forever.  But they haven't been used much in Oregon to date, in part because Oregon's strong land use program limits the number of development rights and therefore the value of the easement. 

But easements on land zoned for Exclusive Farm Use still have development rights that are incompatible with farming, like aggregate mining and exemptions for building houses.  To better understand these property rights and the valuation of working lands easements in Oregon, Rogue Farm Corps commissioned research by one of the state's leading appraisers of working lands easements.  Learn more about his findings in this new whitepaper.

This report was written by Tom Morgan at Duncan & Brown Real Estate Analysts, with funding and support from Rogue Farm Corps, and assistance from Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts and its members.

read the full paper >>

The Future of Oregon's Agricultural Farmlands

"As older farmers retire over the next two decades, over 10 million acres, or 64 percent of Oregon’s agricultural land, will pass to new owners. How that land changes hands, who acquires it, and what they do with the land will impact Oregon for generations."

The report was co-written by RFC's Farm Preservation Program Director, Nellie McAdams and colleagues at Oregon State and Portland State Universities.

click to read the full report >>

Farm Preservation Resources

Austin Family Business Program

Administered by OSU, this program provides workshops and resources for small business owners, including farmers, to plan for retirement and succession.

Capital Press Real Estate Classifieds

Find or advertise farmland for lease, sale, or purchase in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts

Serves and strengthens Oregon’s community of land trusts (nonprofits that buy or accept donations of land or conservation easements).

Farmland Access Legal Toolkit

A free, online toolkit that explains legal arrangements that provide more affordable and equitable farmland access. Tools range from create-your-own-lease to lease-to-own, to agricultural easements.

Finding Farmland Calculator

Use National Young Farmers' Coalition's calculator to build scenarios for purchasing farmland. You can compare detailed estimates of total costs, monthly payments and affordability metrics, then download the results to have on hand when meeting with a loan officer.

Land Lease and Sales Handout

Information on how to work with a realtor, find and analyze farmland for lease or sale, ideas on collective farmland management, and how to create a lease.

National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)

NRCS’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easements is a federal matching fund that organizations or agencies can use to help buy conservation easements.  

Northwest Farm Credit Service

One-on-one consulting services to Northwest FCS members on business and estate planning.

Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program

A proposed suite of voluntary incentives for Oregon farmers and ranchers to support practices that maintain or enhance both agriculture and fish, wildlife, or other natural resources on agricultural lands.

Oregon Association of Conservation Districts

Represents member Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Oregon, some of which buy and preserve properties and conservation easements.

Oregon Farm Link

A project of Friends of Family Farmers, Oregon Farm Link connects beginning farmers and ranchers with land holders to help Oregon grow the next generation of family farmers.

Oregon Lands at Work 

Stories of how conservation projects can support the viability of Oregon farm businesses.

Oregon State Bar

Offers a referral service to help connect you to attorneys, including estate planners, in your area.

Oregon Small Business Development Center Network

Offers one-on-one business training for small businesses, including farms, at 19 community colleges around the state.

Ties to the Land

Curriculum created by Oregon State University on how to pass on a family forest estate.