Farm Link

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Virginia Farm Link Program

Virginia Farm Link, a program of the Office of Farmland Preservation, is a program is designed to help two important segments of the commonwealth's farm community:

  • Farmers and landowners who are facing retirement and want to see their businesses continue and their land stay in production; and
  • Beginning and expanding farmers who are in search of business arrangements through which they can acquire land, equipment, experience and access to the knowledge of seasoned producers

As established in § 3.2-202 of the Code of Virginia, the Virginia Farm Link program shall provide, but not be limited to the following:

  1. assistance in the preparation of business plans for the transition of business interests;
  2. assistance in the facilitation of transfers of existing properties and agricultural operations to interested buyers;
  3. information on innovative farming methods and techniques; and
  4. research assistance on agricultural, financial, marketing, and other matters.

The components of the Virginia Farm Link program are described below.


Virginia Farm Link Database

The Virginia Farm Link database is an online database designed to link farm owners interested in exiting agriculture with those seeking farms and farm businesses. The Virginia Farm Link database service is provided at no-cost to the users. Virginia Farm Link works with each party to fully understand their interests and needs. If you are farm seeker, click the above “Are You Seeking a Farm?” link to sign up or sign in to your account. If you are farm owner, click the above “Have Farmland?” link to sign up or sign-in.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • I forgot my username and / or password.

Users often forget their user name and / or their password. If you have forgotten you username, please contact the farm link database administrator at: farmlinkadmin@vdacs.virginia.gov and they can e-mail you your user name.  You will need to enter your username and then a new password will be sent to you via the email you entered when you signed up.  If you remember your username, but not your password, click this link and click "forgot password" to have a reset password sent to your email address on file. 

  • As a signed-in user, when I look at the google map on the Virginia Farm Link site what are the green and red icons I am seeing?

The green barn icons are all the active farm owners in Virginia that are on the Virginia Farm Link site. The red tractor icons are the active and certified farm seekers in Virginia.   Active means folks that created or updated their user profile in the last six months.  As a farm owner you may be contacted by two types of farm seekers via the Virginia Farm Link website: 1) Certified Farm Seekers (CFS) or 2) non-certified farm seekers. The difference between the two is described below.

  • On the Virginia Farm Link website, what is the difference between a “farm seeker” and “certified farm seeker”?  Why does it matter?

When the Virginia Farm Link website began in 2008, there were just two categories of users – farm owners and farm seekers. In 2012, after reviewing feedback from users, it was determined that a certification process was needed to help farm seekers better demonstrate to farm owners that they had the necessary knowledge and skills to farm themselves.  Partnering with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition, the Certified Farm Seeker (CFS) program was born.   Once certified, a farm seeker is able to demonstrate to a farm owner that:

1) they have a farm business plan,

2) they have on-farm experience and

3) have a resume to prove their experience level. 

Non-certified farm seekers may have the same things CFS have, but farm owners do not know that from the beginning like they do with a CFS.  Both CFS and non-certified seekers are able to contact farm owners via the Virginia Farm Link system. You will know if a person is certified because there will be a prominent CFS logo on their Farm Link user profile. You can also find all CFS on the google map of current listings as the red tractor icons. Non-certified farm seekers are not listed on the map. If you get contacted by a CFS, you know they already have a farm business plan and on-farm experience they can demonstrate on a resume. Feel free to ask them to share such documents if you would like to see more info on their plan and/or experience.  

As a farm owner, you can directly contact a CFS via the Virginia Farm Link site by visiting the current listings page and clicking on one (or more) of the red tractor icons and then sending a message to the farm seeker from the blue box on the right-hand side of their profile page. CFS are the only farm seekers farm owners can reach out to first - non-certified seekers are not visible to farm owners on the current listing page and non-certified farm seekers must reach out to a farm owner first to initiate contact.

Disclaimer: The CFS program is not a professional credentialing program and does not guarantee a successful match between a farm owner and farm seeker.   The CFS program highlights farm seekers that have submitted a farm business plan and have demonstrated on-farm experience via a resume.

  • How do I know if a message is really from Virginia Farm Link?

Messages from Virginia Farm Link should come from: farmlinkadmin@vdacs.virginia.gov .  If you have any question about the legitimacy of a message, just contact the Virginia Farm Link program manager at the above email address and we will be happy to check on the user name in the Virginia Farm Link system.   

  • As a farm owner do I have to respond to messages from a farm seeker?

There is no requirement that farm owners respond to farm seeker inquiries from Virginia Farm Link.  As a farm owner, if you do not think the seeker would be a good fit, you do not need to respond. Farm seekers do not have a farm owners name or contact info until a farm owner sends a response to a farm seeker.  

  • Is there a “certified farm owner” designation like there is for “certified farm seekers”? 

There is not currently a “certified farm owner” designation. However, there is possibility that such a designation will be available in the future if need exists.

  • As a farm owner what services does Virginia Farm Link offer me?

As a farm owner, you will get interest inquiries from general farm seekers as they come in. The farm seekers do not have your name or contact information – they are only able to contact you through our database system.  It is up to you to determine if you wish to contact them back.  Once you contact the farm seeker back, they then have your name and contact info. If you do not feel the seeker is a good fit, you do not have to contact them back. To help facilitate successful matches, as a farm owner look for the “Certified Farm Seeker” logo on the farm seekers profile. If certified, you know as a farm owner that the seeker has a farm business plan, on-farm experience and can demonstrate both on a professional resume. Non-certified farm seekers, may have these too, but you do not know from the beginning.

  • Is there any fee for signing up for Virginia Farm Link?

There is no cost to the users of the Virginia Farm Link program.  The program costs are covered in part by funding from the Virginia Agricultural License plate. Of the $35 annual fee for this license plate, $15 is returned to the VDACS Office of Farmland Preservation to use towards the Virginia Farm Link program.  

  • I am a real estate agent looking to list a farm for sale. Can I list the property on Virginia Farm Link?

The Virginia Farm Link database is not set up to serve as a real estate listing service. It is set up to facilitate a match between a retiring farmer and a new/beginning farmer. As such, if you are looking to sell a farm property for the highest price you can get, the Virginia Farm Link database is not likely to help you reach that goal – but it may help you connect with someone who wants to farm it!

  • I signed up for Virginia Farm Link database a while ago and when I signed in and searched for farm owners or farm seekers to contact I did not see a way to contact them.  What is the issue? 

If it has been 6 months or more since you last logged in to your account, it is likely your account has gone inactive. You will need to edit your user profile and check the active box to be able to contact users.

 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Mailing Address:
Virginia Farm Link Program
102 Governor Street Richmond, Virginia 23219
 
Phone: 804-786-1906