Land Success

New Landowner Research and Outreach: Conservation and Succession Success for Farm and Woodland Owners

Welcome! This research and outreach project aims to better understand and support outreach to new landowners of farms and woodlands in Wisconsin. This project is funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is a collaboration led by Professor Adena Rissman with a team from the University of Wisconsin. Our research and outreach is focused on the networks and organizations that support private landowners.

We invite you to share your experience! For new landowners only (not previous landowners adding new land), we are offering a $25 incentive for a one-hour interview by phone or video call. If you recently acquired 5+ acres, we’d like to interview you! 

We’re also interested in the unique perspective that professionals can offer. If you work with private landowners in a professional capacity, we want to hear from you, too! This includes foresters, extension agents, and more. 

If you’re interested in an interview, please know: your participation in the interview is entirely voluntary and you can skip any questions or stop participating at any time. There are no direct benefits to you for participating but we hope there will be benefits for conservation from understanding lessons learned. We do not anticipate risks to you except there is a potential that other members of your organization or community might read publications that include your responses.  We will treat all information as confidential unless you give us permission to use your name. You might still be identified by your workplace so we will not include that, at your request. The interview will be audio recorded and transcribed.

Lands across the United States are undergoing significant ownership change. We are interested in knowing how outreach at the time of ownership change impacts new owners and the lands and resources they manage. We are also interested in building connections across agriculture, forestry, conservation, planning, and real estate organizations who work with landowners in different ways. 


Our long-term goal is to support new landowners, and the organizations that work with them, when making decisions that enhance resource stewardship, financial success, and landowners’ quality of life. We focus on new owners of small and medium-sized mixed farm and woodland properties in Wisconsin to:

1) understand trends in rural land transfers, in terms of the timing and location, and gender of new owners

2) identify the best way and time to send information to new landowners that would help them make sound land management decisions, 

3) develop and test welcoming outreach for new owners that don’t have prior management experience in a way that integrates forestry and agricultural conservation.

4) develop outreach to landowners whose land was already enrolled in conservation easements. 


Project team: Adena Rissman, Brian Ohm, Diane Mayerfeld, Tony Johnson, Tierney Bocsi, and Ryan Hellenbrand

For questions or more information, call (608) 263-0788 or email