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SILT is about affordable land access for sustainable food farmers.

Sustainability Guidelines and Requirements

Land lease rates on SILT-owned land will be flexible, reduced for the number and quality of sustainable practices you choose to employ to heal damaged soil life. We do this to encourage such practices and help young farmers get the best start but we do not allow you to undercut the local market while enjoying the discounted rental price.

Land with easements, or restrictions limiting it to sustainable food farming, can be bought and sold among farmers but must always be kept in sustainable food farming. The inability for any other uses reduces the cost of that land for generations to come, but SILT monitors those easements annually to maintain the integrity of the donor’s original intent.

It’s about access to land, first.

  • Farmers who opt to rent SILT-owned land will enjoy long-term, inheritable (predictable!) beginning farmersground leases while gaining equity in your home, barn and business.
  • Farmers who would prefer to purchase land will eventually be able to shop statewide for farmland protected by sustainable agricultural easements, restrictions on the land that remove the pressure from development and commodity crops, but that require sustainable ag practices.

If you know Iowa landowners interested in donating land or easements, contact us today to follow up. We’ll work with you to get you on land you can afford.

But “sustainable” can be expensive, especially at first. 

Farmers of all ages and experiences developed SILT’s vetting criteria for new SILT farmers. Read these before applying to a SILT farm.

Time on the land, not in your truck.

SILT is targeting parcels of all sizes near major metro areas, giving you proximity to a local foods direct-sale, retail and wholesale market. Eventually, SILT expects to be active in supporting food hubs and aggregators to increase odds of success and meet your needs from seed to sale.

Not quite ready to start farming? 

SILT will continue to network with farmer education organizations such as Practical Farmers of Iowa, MOSES and the Land Stewardship Project to inform you of every chance to improve your skill set and practices, build a business plan that will success, seek out the right markets for you and more.

  • Interested in local food systems? Sign up today to help incorporate SILT’s work into our regional and local food movement.

Do you know great places for farmers to learn sustainable practices? Contact us today so we can add it to our online list of resources. Or share them on our Facebook page – thanks!

“When there’s plenty of money, the speculators and bankers beg it first, and the farmers always lose out in the long run. What we need is a law to fix the value of land and remove it from speculators.”  1916. 

Three Miles Square. Paul Corey. 1939