Mainstem Farm Access Project

“After working on farms for 6 years and owning a farm for another five, I still didn’t have the savings to purchase farmland in expensive Multnomah County. EMSWCD is sowing the seeds for my farm to have long-term stability by partnering with me on a long-term farm lease that includes an affordable option for me to purchase the leased farm. I’m grateful to be working with them on this Farm Access opportunity.”
-Emily Cooper, owner of Full Cellar Farm and participant in EMSWCD’s Farm Access program

A long-time nursery farmer was looking to retire but wanted to ensure his property would always remain a working farm. EMSWCD acquired this 14-acre property in 2018 and made it available via a 3-year farm lease to Emily Cooper – a graduate of EMSWCD’s Headwaters Farm Incubator Program, which this property directly adjoins.

In order to ensure the sort of security Emily was seeking for her Full Cellar farm operation, EMSWCD has agreed to enter into a 20-year farm lease with Emily. The farm lease will include provisions for EMSWCD to buy back – at the end of the lease – any investments Emily may make at Mainstem Farm, thus incentivizing increased farm productivity.

EMSWCD and Emily have also agreed on an additional mechanism for Emily to build equity in the farm and achieve additional security. Emily may elect to exercise an option to purchase the farm from EMSWCD. If Emily does so, the property will be sold subject to a working farmland easement. The working farmland easement will ensure the property forever remains in active, sustainable farm use and in the ownership of farmers – and has the additional key benefit of making the farm affordable for Emily and future farmers to purchase.

Want to learn more about how we can partner with you?

Contact Matt Shipkey, our Land Legacy Program Manager, at (503) 935-5374 or