Securing Farmland

by Lease or Purchase

Thursday, Oct 11th, 5:00-8:00 

Sunday, Oct 14th, 9:00-4:00

Gaining access to land is a journey. It’s also one of the most important and challenging steps to becoming a successful farmer or rancher. This two-part workshop is for people who have some farming/ranching experience and are looking for land. It will give you practical information and the skills you need to help you along the way.

The Community Food & Agriculture Coalition will be joined by expert Presenters from MSU Extension, Northwest Farm Credit Services, and American Public Lands Exchange to help participants turn their farmland dreams into a plan of action!

In this workshop you will hear real-life examples and apply the information you learn to:

  1. Turn your farmland dreams into concrete goals
  2. Determine which land tenure options fit your personal, business and financial situation
  3. Learn the process to secure land through lease or purchase
  4. Identify your next steps toward secure land tenure

This workshop is provided as part of the American Farmland Trust project Farmland for the Next Generation. This project utilizes a nationwide group of Land Access Trainers to develop a national Land Training Curriculum. To learn more about the AFT project visit the Farmland For the Next Generation page.

This workshop is provided to Beginning Farmers and Ranchers FREE of charge thanks to support from American Farmland Trust.

REGISTRATION for this workshop is now closed. See other workshop opportunities on the Events Page.


Detailed Agenda Coming Soon. Check out the topics that will be covered, below.

So why Thursday and Sunday? This workshop is for those looking for land or trying to strengthen their tenure through a stronger lease or purchase. If that’s you, you may still be working hard to wrap up your farm season, and selling your products at Saturday Farmers Markets. In order to make this workshop more available, we’ve scheduled around the market, and the Friday harvest day that precedes it.

Part One: Preparing For Land Tenure

Thursday session generously sponsored by NWFCS

Thursday, October 11th, 5:00-8:00

  • Setting SMART Goals
  • Understanding Your Financial Situation
  • Preparing to Meet With a Lender

Part Two: Land Tenure Options

Sunday, October 14th, 9:00-4:00

  • Understanding Land Tenure Options
  • The Process of Buying Land
  • Steps in a Real Estate Deal
  • Understanding Deeds and Purchase & Sale Agreements
  • Securing Land through Lease
  • Negotiating a Good Lease
  • Lease Rates in Montana



This session will be held at the Burns St Community Space, 1500 Burns St, Missoula. Includes casual dinner sponsored by Northwest Farm Credit Services.


This session will be held at the Missoula County Extension Office, 2825 Santa Fe Court, Missoula.


Aimee Arnaud, Northwest Farm Credit Services

Aimee Arnaud grew up on a dryland wheat farm and small Hereford ranch in eastern Washington. She completed her BS in Marketing in 2008 and MBA in 2014, both from the University of Montana.  As a Relationship Manager for Northwest Farm Credit Services in Bozeman, she specializes in AgVision, a financing program designed specifically for Young, Beginning, and Small producers. Aimee incorporates her passion for farming and ranching into her lending and will help you find a financing solution that meets your needs.

Kaley Hensel, Missoula County Extension

Kaley Hensel is the Horticulture Extension Agent in Missoula County.  She teaches horticulture education and promotes increasing knowledge of growing specialty crops and sustainable farming systems.  Kaley will provide an overview of land access options to determine which are most appropriate for participant’s situations based upon personal and farm/ranch business goals.

Kate Fuller, MSU Extension Economics

Kate Fuller is an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University.    Her extension and research interests focus on economic farm management decision-making, including understanding and interpreting USDA programs and policies, responding to pests and diseases, and issues surrounding leasing and land values.

Mark Sommer, American Public Lands Exchange

Mark Sommer was born and raised on a dairy farm in central Wisconsin.  After getting a B.S. in Soil Science he moved west to finish schooling and for a short while worked for the U.S. Forest Service.  For the last 20 years he has lived in Missoula and worked for a real estate consulting firm that has a niche on completing real estate transactions that provide for a conservation outcome.

Dave Renn, CFAC, Farm Link Montana

Dave Renn is the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program Manager at CFAC. Dave has experience in a variety of production systems and scales for research, wholesale, farmers markets and CSA. With more than a decade of experience in public education, Dave will facilitate the workshop and help participants create SMART goals for their land seeking process.

You can contact Dave with any questions about this workshop at or 406-926-1004.

REGISTRATION for this workshop is now closed. See other workshop opportunities on the Events Page.


Farmland for the Next Generation is supported by a four-year Educational Enhancement grant from the USDA BEGINNING FARMER AND RANCHER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, AWARD# 2015-70017-23901. Matching support is provided by Farm Credit and the members of American Farmland Trust.