How to Protect your Farm

The Ontario Farmland Trust works directly with farmers and other farm owners to help them protect their land from non-agricultural development, such as urban sprawl and the mining of aggregates. By partnering with the Farmland Trust, farm families have the assurance that their land will continue to support agriculture for generations to come.

Why Should I Protect My Farm?

  • – Protect your investments in the land
  • – Honour your  farm’s and family’s history
  • – Sustain farming in your community
  • – Support the next generation of farmers on your farm
  • – Create current tax benefits, succession, and estate planning advantages

Click here to learn more about protecting your farm.

What Can I Do to Protect My Farm?

1. Create a Farm Succession Plan

Sit down with your family and talk about farm succession to determine how your farm will stay a farm after you sell it or pass it on. Create a long-term plan for ownership of the land and its continued use for farming. This may include:

– Working with a new or experienced farmer to create a plan for transfer of the land or business; and/or

– Working with a land trust to permanently protect your farm.

2. Learn About Your Land Protection Options

If you are interested in protecting your farm in a lasting way, contact the Ontario Farmland Trust to explore different land protection options. A Farmland Easement Agreement, for example, is an agreement that can be established with a land trust to protect your farm. A Farmland Easement allows you to continue to own and manage your land and farm business, while also guaranteeing that future owners of your property won’t be able to convert the land to non-agricultural use. The Ontario Farmland Trust can also accept donations of land to more actively support the next generation of farmers and encourage new farm business start-ups. Click on the options below for more information.

3. Engage Your Farm Advisors

Meet with professional farm advisors (e.g. your accountant, lawyer, financial planner) to explain your goals and formalize your plans for farm succession and the protection of your land. It is important that you have the support of advisors who understand agriculture, preferably members of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors. It is also important that you have advisors who understand and support your land protection goals. The Ontario Farmland Trust has resources it can share with advisors who would like to learn more about land trusts and farmland easement agreements.

4. Plan Ahead

Protecting your land is not something that happens overnight – it takes time for farm families and their advisors to learn about and work through the process. Certain tax incentives and advantages are available through the land protection process as well. This can be integrated into your farm business, tax, farm succession, and estate planning, and timing is important to maximize benefits.   Every situation is unique and different and requires special attention by your farm advisors.

To locate professional farm advisors near you, contact the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors at (877) 474-2871, or visit: www.cafanet.com

Through our Farmland Protection Program, the Ontario Farmland Trust can accept donations of land or work with you to register a farmland easement agreement on your land to guarantee that it will be protected for future generations of farmers.

Questions? Please contact Matt at 519-824-4120 ext. 52654 for more information.

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