How do we keep farmland in the hands of farmers? The USDA estimates that 70 percent of U.S. farmland will change hands in the next 20 years. For each American farmer younger than 25, five are over 75 years old. As land increases in value and current farmers consider retirement, they often find themselves selling their greatest asset—their farmland—to the highest bidder, rather than to a future generation of farmers. This means more land is converted into non-farm uses, forever removing it from production agriculture.
Imagine parcels of farmland owned by participating members of our community and then leased to farmers for local food production. By finding a way for community members to cooperatively purchase the land and then lease it to a new generation of farmers, we can create new opportunities for today’s young farmers and break the cycle of the “land rich, cash poor” farmer. This model not only facilitates farmland succession, but also promotes local food security and economic growth. More importantly, it is a clear win-win for farmers, the community, and our regional food system. This is the purpose of Poudre Valley Community Farms, A Land Cooperative (PVCF).
Board of Directors, Staff and Start-up Team
Board of Directors:
- Martha Sullins, President: Front Range Regional Specialist – Food Systems and Business Management at CSU Extension
- Gailmarie Kimmel, Treasurer: Local food organizer and advocate, founding member of Living Soil Investments
- Nic Koontz, Vice President: owner Native Hill Farm
- Maria Elena Price, Secretary: owner of ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours
- Zia Zybko: Local food advocate
- Greg Krush: Long time local farmer, land owner and community organizer.
- Kevin Jablonski: PhD Student at CSU and experienced livestock and farm manager.
- Clinton Wilson: Executive Director
The rest of the start-up team is made up of volunteer soil lovers and local food advocates:
- Katie Slota: owner Native Hill Farm
- Seth Jansen: former President of the Board and Interim Executive Director
A number of partners are supporting us in various capacities: