farmland in autumn

The Center is once again able to offer site visits for farm land, water and infrastructure assessment.

Our goal is to empower you with knowledge and resources so you can make the best, most informed decisions about the sustainable establishment and management of productive assets, namely land, water and farm infrastructure.

We can provide:

  • Guidance with online mapping and other online assessment tools and resources.
  • Help with soil testing protocols and interpreting test results.
  • A site visit including in-depth land, water and/or infrastructure analysis from the farm assessment specialist.
  • Appropriate referrals to other agricultural service providers.
  • When possible: a written summary of findings for future reference.

Request an Assessment of Your Farmland

Who is eligible?

  • Aspiring or actively operating farmers meeting the USDA definition of "beginning farmer" - less than 10 years of farm management experience, and with a prospective farm(s) or field(s) already identified
  • Any farmer in the planning stages of developing a new enterprise that will involve a significant change in land, water or infrastructure management
  • Landowners or their agents who have a farmer meeting the above criteria committed to operating on their land, or have identified a serious prospect for a tenant or other partnering farmer
  • Public landholders or farm land managers including but not limited to municipalities, educational institutions, land trusts or other entities committed to enabling sustainable and efficient agricultural production, and who have a prospective farming location already identified

About our Land Assessment Specialist

Ben Waterman has walked hundreds of farms across Vermont assessing soil fertility, water systems and landscapes in the context of farm viability. He started his soils assessment career in 2001 after competing on the "soil judging" team during his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, travelling across the nation assessing soils for agriculture, forestry and engineering applications. He has worked as a private soils consultant, on farms, as a Peace Corps volunteer and consulting for state government on soils and land use. Before coming to UVM Extension Ben worked in the construction trades. He has held his Designer License from the state of Vermont to engineer wastewater systems based on soils criteria. He manages his own small fruits operation, and has extensive experience developing springs, ponds, drainage irrigation and other water systems. Ben has taught various soils workshops and courses at UVM, covering the three basic facets of farm assessment: online/remote mapping, laboratory analysis, and field verification/site assessment.

Form to Request Services


Interested in knowing more about the Center's work or do you have a question we haven't answered here?  Contact us via email or  802-656-5459 and we'll do our best to help.