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  • Ryder Snell

NWALT Announces New Program to Provide Farmers with Land Leases in Berryville

BERRYVILLE, AR - To create more opportunities for farmers interested in growing fresh fruits and/or vegetables wholesale, the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) announces a lease program at NWALT Farms - Berryville. The program offers qualified farmers a sublease agreement for one of three 15-acre tracts of farmland on a 100-acre property in Berryville, AR. Interested farmers should complete an application that includes a farm business plan and other details about their operation. More information including an introductory video and application are available at the NWALT Farms website.

“Access to land for new and beginning farmers is a barrier across the U.S. and in our area due to increasing land prices. NWALT Farms - Berryville is a step toward ensuring farmers affordability and stability so they can focus on growing their dreams, and local food for the community,” said Grady Spann, NWALT Executive Director and CEO.




NWALT has more than 6,700 acres in protection including some historic and working farms. This new NWALT Farms - Berryville property is expected to serve three farmer subtenants. NWALT will lead the program’s enrollment, provide access to training and resources for the farmers as well as stewardship of the property. Shared infrastructure including a pack shed with a wash line and coolers for postproduction harvest is under construction. Participant farmers will also have access to water for irrigation, electric utilities and shared equipment including tractors and common implements used in production of fruits and/or vegetables for wholesale. Areas for temporary housing are available on the site for farmers and or farm workers who wish to live on the property during the growing season or year-round.

As a charitable mission-based program, which aims to support underserved farmers grow more fresh healthy foods for the region, grant funding will allow NWALT to keep the costs to participate in the program affordable.

The program is offering participants an initial five-year lease term with the potential to renew. Each tract is available for lease at $60 per acre annually. A complete list of rates, available infrastructure and equipment is available at the application webpage.


“This is a significant moment in NWALT’s history and our region as we continue to support farm seekers, and farmland owners with a diverse set of tools and resources to keep working lands in working hands,” said Spann. “We are proud to be part of the NWA Food System Initiative supported by the Walton Family Foundation. In this work, our role is to help preserve farmland vital to our local food supply and help underserved farmers access it. This new program will compliment efforts to help farmers afford land, and to grow produce for our region.”

A webinar is scheduled at noon, April 11, 2023, to provide more details about the program and the property. Visit NWALT Farms at nwaltfarms.org for more information and to register for the webinar.


About NWALT Farms

NWALT Farms is the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust’s outreach and programming as part of the NWA Food Systems. This initiative supports local growers from seed to table, connecting new and existing farmers to educational opportunities, land, technical assistance, and capital. The systems also improve farmers’ access to local wholesale and direct-to-consumer markets by supporting programs that provide certification, aggregation, sales and distribution and processing services.

About Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is the region's first local and accredited land trust dedicated to enhancing the quality of life through permanent land protection. By holding and managing donated land and providing conservation easement services, the Land Trust protects water quality, local farms, wildlife habitats, and places for outdoor recreation while enhancing the quality of life for today and future generations. The service area of the Land Trust includes 13 counties in Northwest Arkansas, with a core focus on Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington counties. For more information, visit the Land Trust's website at www.nwalandtrust.org.

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CONTACT:

Susan Koehler

NWALT Farms Manager

Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

479.966.4666 (office) 303-517-9438 (cell)

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