Finding Farmland

Contents: Learning about specific properties

  • Town Clerk’s Office Information
  • Farm Rental Checklist Tool
  • Natural Resources Atlas
  • USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Soil Surveys
  • Local Knowledge

This one-page bulletin explains how to use records kept at town offices to learn about land owners, easements, taxes and zoning provisions that could apply to a particular property.

This tool will help you evaluate prospective farm properties. Whether you are leasing or purchasing a farm, be sure to carefully examine site conditions and variables that may affect the viability of your farm operation. While it was designed for people exploring rental properties, farm seekers have also found it helpful in evaluating properties that are for sale.

The Natural Resource Atlas is an interactive tool from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources allows you to home in on a specific property and see features of environmental importance in the vicinity. It provides aerial imagery of the site, Act 250 permits issued nearby, hazardous waste sites, hydrography, storm water permit sites, threatened and endangered species, water supply source protection areas, and wetlands. The website also links to other geographical information resources.

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Web Soil Survey is an interactive website that allows you access to soils information related to a specific site. Soils are classified according many different features. For example, it is possible to identify the areas on a property that have well-drained soils most compatible with crop production.

County Soil Surveys: These are print copies in book form of the Internet Web Soil Survey data (see above). The surveys contain detailed maps of every parcel in the county county and maps of all of soil series in a parcel. Soil surveys are generally available at public, university, or college libraries, and at various Conservation District and Natural Resource Conservation Service offices throughout the state.

Local Knowledge: Local farmers and neighbors possess knowledge about a land’s history and environment that won’t be found in any office, book, or web page. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself and asking questions.