A great first step in the land access process is checking out the Land Link database. Land Link connects beginning and expanding farmers with retiring and non-farming landowners who are interested in seeing their land continue to be farmed. Visit the Land Link program on this site to learn more.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Land Link, the standard way of finding land to purchase is through a realtor. Realtor.com allows you to search for land available in your area and you can filter to select lands with a certain acreage and with or without housing. Other resources for finding land include Craigslist and farm newspapers and magazines. You may also find that people will respond to “reverse listings,” ads about you and what you’re looking for. These can be placed in small community papers, on Land Link or Craigslist, in farm newspapers/magazines, or in county Extension or Soil and Water District newsletters. Module 8: Land Access of CFAC’s Planning for On-Farm Success has more information on finding land.
Perhaps most importantly, don’t disregard the potential of your local community in finding land. In probably the majority of land access deals we see, the land was found through the land seeker letting their friends and family know about their search and word-of-mouth finding land for them. These types of deals oftentimes have the added benefit of having a higher degree of trust because there is typically a friendly intermediary that can vouch for the landowner and/or vouch for you.
This resource from Land For Good includes a tutorial called “Acquiring Your Farm” that details the process of acquiring land as well as numerous links to other resources; the tutorial section on communication and negotiation is particularly strong.