For those of you weren’t able to get to the Deep Winter Agrarians Gathering, here are some brief notes based on the summary of the session ‘Land Access, Ownership and Share Agreements’ led by Erica Watson.
Erica shared her experience of leasing land for her farm. Much discussion surrounded the need for instituting a cap if you are going to have a revenue-based lease arrangement, and the benefits of a lower cap level.
The complications of combining residential tenancy with commercial lease and employment agreements was explored, given the different laws governing each. The message was to keep them separate.
Land share arrangements were discussed, looking at the potential commercial benefits for land owners. Communication was seen to be key, with the observation that very different life experiences of land owners and farmers could make things difficult, and may require some kind of assistance to facilitate communication. Arrangement is likely to have higher level of success when both parties are actively farming; when there are relatively even power relationship and when there's clear values alignment.
Aboriginal sovereignty and treaties were recognised as important elements of discussion. When agreement is reached with original land custodians on particular land, it has potential to reframe all of these discussions and take the dichotomous/adversarial nature of land use arrangements.
An organic regenerative investment model (eg oricoop) was touched upon, looking at the power behind shifting farm ownership towards custodianship.
People asked for a place to share lease / share agreement examples and other experiences and models - so here it is!