Communicating with Landlords: How to Gain & Retain Rented Farmland-By, Jessica Ziehm

Jessica Ziehm, Executive director of the NY Animal Agriculture Coalition

Jessica Ziehm, Executive director of the NY Animal Agriculture Coalition

Jessica Ziehm is a dairy farmer and Executive Director of the NY Animal Agriculture Coalition, a group dedicated to enhancing the public’s awareness and understanding of modern animal agriculture.

On Wednesday, December 20, 2017 the WNY Soil Health Alliance held their annual meeting and soil health workshop. Featuring Jessica as one of the main speakers.

In the Morning Session, Jessica Ziehm from NY Animal Ag Coalition and Jeff Ten Eyck from American Farmland Trust shared three main points; communicating, knowing and courting your landlords. These points went over how to start a relationship with your landlords and how to maintain a good relationship. The presentation went over statistics on the amount of rented land in this area as well as how to increase conservation practices on this land.

In the afternoon breakout sessions, Jessica went more into detail about how to gain and retain rented farmland. Jessica discussed the three main plays in working with landowners, transparency, accessibility, and communication. Transparency is when we operate in a way that is easy for others to see our actions and the “why” behind them. The seven elements of Transparency are: motivation, disclosure, stakeholder participation, relevance, clarity, credibility, accuracy, motivation. Accessibility is to operate in a way that is easy for landlords to find you such as; sharing your phone number, be proactive and talk to them first, invite them for a farm walk and being known in your community. Lastly, communication is key. Jessica talked about how to be honest, open and allow for two-way communication to help form a good partnership with your landowners.