Before submitting your application, we encourage you to watch and read the material in the sections below. This content offers tips for each step of the process, including completing the application, preparing for interviews with landowners, setting goals and negotiating. Once you submit your application, you will receive an email from a member of the Land Link team to set up an introductory phone call. Now that you have completed these steps, are you wondering what happens next? Click here to learn more about the process.
Preparing Your Application
Preparing for the Potential Interview
Once you have been selected by a landowner for an interview you will need to set yourself apart from the others who might be interviewed. This interview is going to be very similar to a job interview, which means you should come prepared and presentable. Use this time with the landowner to discuss your plans and see if you will be a good match.
Interview Tips for Land Seekers
- Watch the video on Generational Differences. That will help you frame your responses to be respectful of what might be differences in values.
- Be prepared to talk about your personal goals and plans. What are your visions for your Ag operation?
- Do you have a 5-10 year plan, be willing to share those plans. Where would you envision yourself in 10 years?
- Tell your story! Talk about what makes you unique. This could be your agriculture background, your family support system, or your values.
- Be prepared to talk about your assets and resources. What do you own/have that will contribute toward the farm? This could be machinery but also could be labor and educational skills.
- Making a good match is very important. You need to feel comfortable and make sure your personalities are compatible.
- Exchange your references, both financial and personal. This will help you decide if the landowner is a good match.
- Be prepared to ask questions. This is your time to get to know the landowner but also learn about the operation. Ask questions about their family and their vision for the future of their operation.
- Once the interview is over, talk to your trusted advisors. They can help you formalize your plan and draw up your agreement.
- When you are done interviewing, follow-up with a thank you note or email back to the landowner.
Establishing Your Vision, Mission and Goals
With Jay Parsons, professor and farm and ranch management specialist, Department of Agricultural Economics.
You Have Submitted an Application, Now What?
As a beginning farmer or rancher you have taken the first step to overcoming one of the greatest challenges your generation faces, access to land. Now that your application has been submitted and you have had your initial interview with a member of the Land Link team, you are wondering what happens next?
Your application has been uploaded to the Nebraska Land Link database. Once it is uploaded, the Land Link team will conduct a search for a landowner that will be a good fit for you, your family and your goals. If there is a potential match, a Land Link team member will forward your application to the landowner and notify you that we have a potential landowner for you including a brief description of what they are offering. Please note, that landowners may receive several land seeker applications. It may take them some time to sift through the information.
If the landowner thinks you may be a good fit for their operation, they might contact you for a meeting. Preparing for the interview is very important. Visit farm.unl.edu/landlink/land-seeker to read more tips about preparing. The Land Link team is not involved in the interview process. It is up to you and the landowner to keep the lines of communication open. However, a Land Link team member will be regular contact with you to see how to process is going.
Once your interview with the landowner is complete, you need to follow-up with them. It may take several interactions with the landowner to determine if the match is viable. Make sure that you initiate this interaction. Consider the frequency of interaction, the message you want to convey, and mode of communication. Here are a couple different ways it can be done.
- A letter. This can be used to explain why you and your family would be the perfect fit for the landowner’s operation. The letter can cover your goals, vision, and experience. Think of the letter as your final sales pitch as why you would be the best fit for them.
- A Thank You note. This can be used as a way to tell them you are interested and enjoyed meeting with them or telling them thank you for your time, but you are not interested in their operation.
- A phone call. This is the quickest and easiest way to ask more questions or let the landowner know you are or are not interested.
If this match doesn’t work out, your application will stay in the Land Link database and the Land Link team will work to get you matched with a different landowner.
Preparing for the interview, writing a follow-up communication, or telling a landowner you aren’t interested can be hard. Reaching out to a Land Link team member and asking for help is easy to do. The team is here to help you and the landowners find the perfect match.
The University of Nebraska is providing the services under the Land Link program as a service to the public. The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims any and all liability for damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any services provided under the Land Link program, including, but not limited to, economic loss or loss of opportunity.
This material is based upon work supported by USDA-NIFA under Award Number 2020-70017-32735.