When: Tuesday Evenings, January 31 – March 20, 5:30 pm – 8:30
Want to learn more about Guidestone’s Land-Link Initiative? Check out this informative video!
Guidestone’s David Lynch recently sat down with Ryan Warner of Denver radio station KCFR’s Colorado Matters for an interview about the Chaffee County Land Link Initiative. The discussion highlights the concepts and motives behind this new program and also details some of its first participants. To check out the interview click on the following link, then scroll down the page to Wednesday, January 27 and click on the title, “Cultivating New Farmers & Ranchers”:
By: David Lynch, Land-Link Director
In early 2009, Guidestone began exploration of the idea of launching a Land-Link Initiative here in the Upper Arkansas River Valley (see Introducing Guidestone’s Land Link Intitiative). Since that time, the Chaffee County Land-Link Initiative has been gaining considerable momentum. The Chaffee County Board of Commissioners recently embraced the program committing $5,000 in matching funds toward the USDA grant proposal that is currently being prepared by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. Seven area nonprofit organizations and agencies have lent their support to this initiative by providing endorsements and several have stepped up and made pledges in matching funds toward the project. In addition, the program has received considerable attention state-wide from other organizations and leaders thanks to a recent article featuring the Land Link Initiative in the Denver Post.
At the recent annual convention of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU), policy was adopted by the delegates from a three-state area, to support a region-wide land link effort. RMFU’s Cooperative Development Center under the hand of director Ben Rainbolt is eyeing the Chaffee County Land-Link Initiative as the pilot for a statewide undertaking. Additionally, RMFU covered all expenses for David Lynch, Guidestone’s Land-Link Director, to attend a western region farm-link conference held in California. Considerable information and resources were provided at this event and David returns with increased enthusiasm for developing a Central Colorado region land-link program.
The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant that is in progress, will provide the initial funding to get the Initiative off the ground. The grant proposal will be submitted in February, and if approved, will be awarded this next summer. Expectations are high and the land-link steering committee will continue laying the foundation in the coming months. Stay tuned for additional updates!
We would like to thank all of the organizations who have expressed their support of this program:
Jason Blevins of the Denver Post recently visited with Land Link Director, David Lynch, and members of the Guidestone board to learn more about our newly developing Land Link program. From the article featured in today’s paper:
“A Land Link toolbox would include a variety of leases that protect both the new farmer and the landowner. It could be a crop share, a profit share or a straight land lease or lease-to-own. It would include an educational component for young farmers. It would require prospective tenant farmers to have a solid business plan.”
Read the entire article at this link.