Briefing – 400 Million Acres (Nov 21)

Hastack in front of dilapidated barn

Friday November 21

12:00 – 2:00pm

Surdna Foundation
330 Madison Ave, 30th floor

Organic & local lunch served by Cantine Catering

This is a funder-only event with invited guests
RSVP by 11/19 to
Click here to stream the event live

[UPDATE: A video recording of this event is now available online]

Today, we face an unprecedented inflection of farmland ownership, with 70% of farmland owned by those 65 and older. An estimated 400 million acres will change hands in the next 20 years, which is just about the size of the Louisiana Purchase. Retiring farmers need to cash out, and entering farmers struggle to cash in, while economists predict massive consolidation in ownership as a result. Who will pay to keep land in farming? We face this cultural, economic, and environmental dilemma from a landscape perspective, with ownership-regimes at its root.

At 400 Million Acres: Land Access, Ownership, and Stewardship, come hear from Eric Freyfogle, Swanlund Chair at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as he helps set the context of our current predicament, and inform our collective work supporting a shift to a new food paradigm. Jean Willoughby, Project Director of the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund at the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), will then provide the business context for making this transition and the role of cooperative enterprise in addressing farm viability and access.  Finally, Severine von Tscharner Fleming of the Fleming Family Foundation and The Greenhorns will discuss the role that philanthropy can play and the holistic approach needed to do this work.  As always, we will leave plenty of time for discussion and questions.

The program will feature:

This briefing is co-sponsored by Fleming Family Foundation, Agrarian Trust, and Surdna Foundation

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