Trust Montana is working to build a replicable model of the community land trust tool that benefits farmers and ranchers in Montana. As the average age of a farmer in our state approaches 60 years old, the need for finding tools that ensure beginning farmers can access land and keep it in active food production becomes more apparent.
Trust Montana has partnered with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition to fine-tune the CLT tool and make it more accessible for Montana farmers who are aging out of farming and desire to sell or donate land to Trust Montana, and to those who wish to farm but cannot afford to buy land on the regular market. Trust Montana is working towards being able to purchase land and lease it to farmers. Just like with CLT home ownership, the farmers on the land will own the structures and other improvements, but will purchase them at a price far below the development value of the land.
Trust Montana is a non-profit and can accept farmland donations. The donor can receive tax benefits based on the appraised value of the land, and can stipulate land management plans for future farmers to follow.
Currently, Trust Montana is working to build up its organizational capacity to purchase land.
If you are a farmer who wants to sell their land, donate it, or donate it but maintain the right to live on the land, Trust Montana staff can talk you through your options for making sure the land is maintained as affordable and productive for years to come. You can contact us at (406)-201-5652.