The Agrarian Commons model, now in its implementation phase, is being studied by researchers, professors, and students throughout higher education and law school institutions.
There is little doubt that over the next 5-10 years upwards of 400 million acres of land in the U.S. will change hands as farmers and ranchers retire. What will happen with that land is of great concern to me and to Agrarian Trust.
The high cost of land, racial inequity and land grabbing that underpins agriculture in the United States is part of a global trend of expropriative land practice, founded upon centuries of corporate greed and colonial violence. Agrarian Trust is an active member of a global movement that seeks to heal from these destructive forces, while charting a new path forward—beginning with Indigenous knowledge, local control of the land and agroecological growing practices. Since its founding in 2010, the United States Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) has worked “to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system” as a partner organization of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty.
The Gund Institute for Environment, based out of the University of Vermont (UVM), recently announced their inaugural Equity and Justice research grant, which supports projects that aim to address inequities and injustices underlying environmental crises. I was honored to receive one of these grants to support my collaboration with Agrarian Trust exploring how creative approaches improve equitable farmland access and sustainable on-farm practices. To date, land access policy initiatives in the United States have focused exclusively on expanding private property ownership. Recent research, however, indicates that such efforts may not fully address the systemic and structural barriers to equitable farmland access.
Such historical examples of commoning practices and resistance to land enclosures not only provide ample opportunity to learn from past struggles, but also serve as proof that, rather than being a static relic of the past, the commons are continuously defended and transformed in the struggle against the exploitative and dehumanizing forces of enclosure. Agrarian Trust and similar grassroots organizations are part of this long lineage of commoners fighting for a more equitable and ecologically oriented relationship with the land. Over three hundred years before the founding of Agrarian Trust, Gerard Winstanley and the Diggers championed a compelling alternative to the early capitalism of the seventeenth century. Their platform centered on the democratic control of land and the restorative power of a simple but often overlooked fertilizing agent—manure.
In April 1651, the political theorist Thomas Hobbes published his most well-known literary work, Leviathan. An ardent royalist writing primarily in response to the discord of the English Civil War, […]
Together, we’ve just finished our first farm acquisition fundraiser at Agrarian Trust in support of the Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons, a new model for community-centered farm ownership.
The Agrarian Trust aims to help farmers access land and stay on it, while fostering a system of community supported, environmentally sustainable agriculture.
Agrarian Trust has been selected to participate in the Chipotle Aluminaries Project 2.0 which supports ventures from across the country in advancing innovative solutions that empower the next generation of farmers.
On May 4th, 2020, Agrarian Trust announced the launch of a transformative new model for community-based farm and ranch ownership and tenure, the Agrarian Commons. After several years of development and […]