The achievements of beginning farmer movements of the last decade are exemplary, but land access challenges continue to threaten to dead-end the bolder aspirations of would be farmers. At the very root of the problem are the legal, cultural and social rules that govern our sense of property—what it is, how it is governed and how it is transferred. In the “Global North” strong ideological commitment to the virtues of private property make visioning alternative land tenure and land access systems seem implausible. Yet, there are examples of a land reform movement in the private property context which can teach us how to shift focus away from small farm entrepreneurism into deep political work.
This panel session brings together leading activists involved in land reform efforts from Scotland, France and the US. In these places, where ideas of private property are rarely challenged, these examples provide strategies for unlocking land for the public good. The panel will shine a light on examples of new models of “land reform” while looking at the efforts of beginning farmer movements.