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ALEI Publishes Agricultural Conservation Leasing Guide

By Jess Feldman

The Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) has published the Agricultural Conservation Leasing Guide, a resource for Maryland landowners and farmers who are interested in incorporating conservation practices into farm rental arrangements. The guide is available here.

When it comes to leased farmland, it can be challenging for farmers to use conservation practices. Common challenges to using conservation practices on leased land include insufficient communication between landowners and farmers, little knowledge of practices and funding opportunities and a lack of stability in the leasing relationship. To help farmers and landowners overcome these challenges, ALEI’s Guide To Conservation Leasing contains information for landowners, leasing techniques to help provide security in the contracted arrangement, and communication strategies for both tenants and landowners.

“The Guide builds upon the excellent information and leases in  Agricultural Leasing in Maryland and provides detailed lease language for specific conservation,” Senior Legal Specialist of ALEI and Research Associate Sarah Everhart said.

Everhart also emphasized that it is more important than ever for landowners and farmers to understand these practices in order to meet the state’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals.

The Leasing Guide is the result of a three-year grant awarded to ALEI from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education (SARE) program. The goal of the project is to equip agricultural service providers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to educate farmers and landowners on overcoming the challenges of using conservation practices on leased land. In addition to the Guide, the comprehensive education program includes an informational webinar and a series of five regional workshops.

Workshop dates are as follows

Conservation Leasing Workshops Informational Webinar:

November 15, 2018, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm


Western Maryland Cluster  – Transferring the Farm to the Next Generation Workshop

When: December 6, 2018;  8:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Allegany College of Maryland, Cumberland MD  


Lower Shore Conservation Leasing Workshop

When: December 10, 2018, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore, 31901 Tri-County Way, Salisbury, MD 21804


Mid-Shore Conservation Leasing Workshop

When: January 8, 2019, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Chesapeake College, HPAC 127, 1000 College Circle, Wye Mills, MD 2167


Southern MD Conservation Leasing Workshop

When: January 17, 2019, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Charles County Soil Conservation District, 4200 Gardiner Road, Waldorf, MD 20601


Western MD  – Conservation Leasing Workshop

When: January 23, 2019, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Frederick County Extension Office. 330 Montevue Lane Frederick, MD 21702


Central MD Conservation Leasing Workshop

When: January 28, 2019, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Baltimore County Agricultural Center, 1114 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030

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