Even if your land looks like great farmland, there may be local regulations that restrict a variety of things, including your ability to farm, have a farm stand, or build on-farm storage facilities or housing. Be sure to check in with your local planning and zoning office prior to making any land agreement to make sure you will be able to do what you want to do. You might even stop by before looking for land as some of their regulations may help you select certain areas of your county or city for your land search.
They should also be able to direct you to other local government offices that you should check with before finalizing your plans. These might include departments of environmental quality, food safety, business registration, etc. All of these offices have different names in different counties so if you’re not able to find what you’re looking for right away, the County Courthouse should be able to send you in the right direction.
If you’re interested in finding more information on private property rights, this publication addresses frequently asked questions in order to dispel myths and misunderstandings and generate thoughtful discussion.
Farm Rental Assessment Checklist
This list from University of Vermont Extension includes detailed descriptions of considerations when assessing a property to be leased for farming. Review the list prior to visiting potential sites to identify which aspects are vital to your operation, then use the list to evaluate sites.