Sanne Kure-Jensen, administrator of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island, was recently selected to participate in Farmland Advisors: a Training Program about Farmland Access and Farm Transfers. The two-year program, offered jointly by the American Farmland Trust and Land for Good, aims to develop effective resources for farmers and farmland owners seeking land access and farm transfers through webinars, readings, conference calls and a regional conference. She holds an MBA from Rivier College and has pursued environment-related graduate courses at the University of Rhode Island.
PBN: How long have you been involved with Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island, and what drew you to the organization?
KURE-JENSEN: I joined NOFA/RI late [last] summer. I have been a backyard organic vegetable grower for over 20 years, feeding our family, friends and neighbors. I occasionally donate produce to the Salvation Army. I am a beekeeper and have collected swarms across Newport County. I am an advocate for sustainable farmers and growers.
PBN: Currently, what are some of the challenges associated with farmers and farmland owners trying to obtain land or transfer farms?
KURE-JENSEN: Estate planning and costs at generational transfers and the price of land in areas with high development pressure are the biggest farm-transfer and land-access challenges facing America’s farmers. Some farmers seek access to land through leases with landowners, land trusts and public lands. Other farmers manage to purchase or inherit farmland, often with significant debt.
PBN: How do you think your training will benefit NOFA/RI?
KURE-JENSEN: Informed farmers will make better estate-planning and land-management decisions, which will help to keep farmland in production and available to grow local food. These farmers and heirs will be more likely to maintain viable, sustainable farms, helping maintain and increase New England’s food security into the future. As a farmland adviser, I will be able to offer public workshops and private consultations. •