Fact: According to the USDA 40% of all U.S. farmland is rented every year. This rented land is owned by active farmers who choose to rent out some of their land, retired farmers, and families who no longer farm but own land from prior generations.
We rent land because the initial investment involved to buy land is very large and it’s hard to make that work, especially as young farmers. Land is expensive.
We work to build good relationships with our landlords based on trust and respect. They trust us to take care of their land and not mine the soil, but rather build it up. We negotiate respectable rent prices based on the productivity of the land. We aim to build quality relationships that last many years.
Tillable is a new service created to connect farmers and landowners. It’s basically a Tinder for farmland (Rob Sharkey). This app appeals to the landowner for a few reasons, one being they offer to pay 3 years of rent upfront, something we as young farmers would never be able to do.
But how does it affect the farmer renting land? There’s a lot of factors that Tillable is missing. How much does the land actually produce? What inputs were needed to achieve that yield? What areas of the farm drowned out? What did the farmer have to invest in the land year over year to increase productivity over and above the average acre?
The biggest issue we see is the potential to disrupt relationships with absentee landowners who are disconnected from the happenings on the farm. People who have inherited land and don’t give a monkeys bum what happens to it. This gives us even more reason to tell our story and hope it inspires landowners to care about their land, who is renting it, and maybe even work to build a relationship with that person.